When purchasing equipment for your health screening needs it can be difficult to maintain choice beyond the initial transaction. Most manufacturers want your ongoing service work and eventually replacement purchase. P&A Medical was built on offering continued choice beyond the initial purchase whether that be in the servicing products bought from us or elsewhere. An additional advantage of our independence is that we tailor our services to what the customer needs and not inflict on them the system offered by manufacturers.
Many of the manufacturers co-operate with us regarding service information and spare part availability. Where the manufacturer withdraws co-operation, we can largely obtain parts and information elsewhere. Where we can’t offer the service, we think our customers deserve we will be honest with you and inform you of the situation. Customers will then have a choice of whether they buy equipment from those manufacturers which withhold co- operation, in the future. To ensure continued use of the P&A service it would be wise to consult us before purchasing.
Calibration is defined as the process of measuring against a known standard. In terms of audiometry, the reason for calibration is to verify that the tones and decibels being presented to the client from the audiometer are within the required parameters, i.e. that when 1000 Hz is presented to the client that the correct number of wavelengths are in fact generated. Regular calibration is vital since an un-calibrated audiometer may present inaccurate tones and/or decibels. This possible inaccuracy of the un-calibrated audiometer may in turn cause the person being tested to have an audiogram recorded that does not accurately represent their hearing threshold at that time.
Bio Acoustic Simulators are used to perform a daily check on the functioning of your Audiometer. The daily check has in the past been a subjective test in that you would check your own hearing for discrepancies when compared to previous results. This is still a method used generally in the audiology world but is time consuming. The Bio Acoustic Simulator offers an objective solution but must be used correctly to obtain reliable results. Should you obtain a result inconsistent with previous readings, then it is likely that the headset isn’t seated properly. Reseat the headset and try again. As the earcups and ear cushions, where Audiocups are fitted, become distorted through usage then seating the headset becomes problematic. As time wears on and, dependent on usage, the Audiocup cushions harden at the lower part of the headset and distort. (Rotating regularly can extend the life of them). The ear cushions located within the Audiocups will in time flatten making them larger in diameter and changing the profile of the concaved profile which is designed to connect effectively with the ear part of the Audiocups.
To avoid these problems P&A generally replace cushions when servicing (annually) and ear cups when necessary, as these should last two maybe three years dependant on usage.
The impact of late payment on suppliers has always been well documented. But, what’s rarely talked about is the impact that not paying on time has on the business which chooses to skip a payment deadline. With rising business costs, late payment and economic uncertainty high on businesses’ minds it can be tempting to delay a supplier payment in order to preserve your own cash flow. But, doing this can have serious consequences for your business. Here we look at 3 of the negative repercussions you should consider when paying late – or not at all.
1. Damage to the supply chain
Delaying a supplier payment might protect your own cash flow but it has a knock-on effect, pushing the cash shortfall down throughout the supply chain instead. When providing a product or service on credit terms a supplier has a cash flow gap that they need to cover, and when a payment is late this puts increased pressure on their ability to meet their own commitments.
2. Jeopardising supplier relationships
Understandably, if your late payment has resulted in financial hardship for your supplier, they are less likely to accept your next order. If you value their products or services you should endeavour to make all payments within terms so that you protect that relationship. If the situation arises where you’re experiencing cash flow difficulties and you feel like you might need to make a payment late, communication is key. If you talk to the supplier, and you’ve been a reliable payer in the past, they may value your honesty and offer you a payment extension.
This honest dialogue is key to preserving relationships and protecting both businesses from more serious cash flow difficulties and keeping future prices down.
3. Stress to employees
All of the consequences listed above are likely to negatively impact your employees. What’s more, when angry suppliers call your business looking for their payment, more often than not a member of your staff will field the call and have to deal with it. This is not a comfortable position for your employees to be in.
Your staff are your company’s biggest asset, and when they’re feeling the pressure this is likely to have further repercussions throughout your business.
Where possible, communicate with your employees so they are aware of the situation and make sure you have provided adequate training to help them deal with complaints and criticism from suppliers.
If after all of this you decide to pay late or withhold payment, you do so knowing the consequences.
Choosing the right service provider to maintain and calibrate your medical equipment is not always a straightforward decision. A clue to the quality of service is given in the price you are being quoted. It may sound appealing if it is a good deal less than other quotes but as with everything, you get only what you pay for. Be absolutely certain that you are being quoted ‘like for like‘, and that the equipment and technical backup is of the highest quality.
There are a few companies which do provide a first rate service, but there are many that do not.
A first class service will only ever use quality instrumentation which has been calibrated annually by a UKAS laboratory. As you would expect this level of attention to accuracy is not cheap but is essential in complying with national and international standards.
Most hearing conservation programs use audiometers with TDH-style headsets comprising a headband, two transducers with plastic cushions and a cable to connect to the audiometer. While the headsets have advantages in ease of use, they can present challenges when cleaning and disinfection is necessary.
Of particular concern are your cup cushions. Since these are placed over the ear, they may serve as potential carriers of microorganisms when in contact with the pinnae and the ear canal opening. Cleaning these can often be difficult as it is vital to ensure that the transducer does not get wet when disinfecting the ear cushions, leaving wipes as the best viable option.
However, baby wipes are often used and there is growing evidence showing that the lanolin and other oils in these types of wipe will prematurely harden and degrade the cup cushions.
We therefore recommend anti-bacterial non-alcohol wipes as the best way of cleaning and disinfecting your headset.