Talking to the Dead

Alright, so you need to buy a c-arm. You get quotes from different vendors for systems that are “Previously Owned” or “Refurbished” or “Reconditioned” or “Used” or “As-Is” or “Remanufactured”. Besides the price, what is the difference? Are there any real guidelines that you can use to compare? What questions do you ask? And how do you know when you’re getting proper advice? If you get confused, don’t worry. Everyone gets confused from time to time. 






I was in the tenth grade when the father of one of my classmates passed away. And I was a class officer and so I was required to go to the wake. Don’t ask me how I managed to become a class officer because I have no idea. And at the time, I had no idea about wake protocols either because I had never been to one. I was clueless about wakes and totally confused about what to do. So, I walked in to the funeral parlor with my fellow class officers and we sat in the back row. I looked around and saw all these -obviously less clueless – people standing around talking, hugging and shaking hands. And I saw other people at the casket. They were praying I supposed, but I had little experience with praying for something other than leniency when I got caught doing something wrong. I was totally confused about what to do and I asked my fellow class officer friends, “What do I say?” And one of them said, “Just say you’re sorry.”

Perfect, I thought and promptly walked to the casket – bypassing the receiving line – and kneeled there within earshot of the grieving family. I then proceeded to offer my condolences to my friend’s deceased father very eloquently with something like, “Geez, sorry you’re dead and everything.” Obviously, I was confused and didn’t receive the proper advice – at least not in context of how I meant my question.

It was not my most shining moment.

I’m not going to let that happen to you.

Purchasing considerations can be confusing. A simple internet search will reveal various (and sometimes conflicting) definitions of terms like “refurbished”, remanufactured” and “reconditioned”, those definitions are not effectively regulated in the industry. Generally speaking, “refurbished” and “reconditioned” mean basically the same thing. The system is tested, repaired, cleaned, painted (sometimes), and calibrated. “Remanufactured” is a level above this, whereas the system is completely dismantled, with every component individually assessed and then repaired or replaced. The exterior covers are individually painted in a paint booth prior to re-assembly. The system is then re-built, re-tested and calibrated. The system should look and perform as new. Some definitions indicate that there may also be changes, additions, or upgrades included in the remanufacturing process that give the system the ability to do more than it was originally intended. Ok, so far, so vague. The terms “used” and “As-Is” are generally just that. “You got what you paid for so don’t come crying to me.” And “Previously Owned”? Used. But you knew that.

The problem is that many companies will use those terms interchangeably, and most often for their own marketing advantage. That makes it confusing. The best way to make your purchasing decisions is to compare all the details stated on the quotes. Visit the company’s website and get a feel for exactly what it is that claim they do, and a feel for who it is you are dealing with, even though you know that they will always be putting their best face forward. you should also to speak with each company and ask the right questions. And certainly, you want to consider their reputation in the industry. Internet searches may help with that as well as asking others who may have done business with them. The support that happens after the sale is just as important as the purchase itself. Reputation speaks volumes, and that’s what EDI has worked so hard to earn. That’s just a heads up.

Deciding Which C-arm to Buy and from Whom:
  1. Compare the details of the quotes – build a spreadsheet – tally up features and options side-by-side if you necessary
  2. Visit the company’s web-site – learn about who you are buying from
  3. Research – what is this company’s reputation

Don’t be confused. Ask the right questions. And if you feel like you’re talking to the dead, you know you’ve made a mistake.