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  • From PT in Motion: The Questions You Should Ask Suppliers

    Suppliers to physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) may believe their products are the answer to PT and PTA needs, but dig deeper: before accepting the product or service as an answer, see if it stands up to a few critical questions suggested by the suppliers themselves.

    This month in PT in Motion magazine: "Before You Buy: 26 Key Questions to Ask Suppliers," a list of tips on what a good supplier should be able to tell you about their company and product, accompanied by commentary from PTs, PTAs, and the suppliers.

    The list includes the straightforward ("Can you provide me with 3 references?" "How long have you been in business?"), the strategic ("Does your product contain tools for measuring client outcomes and tracking PT productivity?" "Can you respond quickly to changing market conditions?"), and the practical ("Can patients afford this?" "How long does it take to set up the equipment?"). Along the way, contributors offer up comments that help to put the questions in context—for instance, in support of the question about setup time, Jeff Leatherman, PT, writes that "If it takes longer than 2-3 minutes out of our treatment time, it had better be special."

    Suppliers Aretech, Bioodex Medical Systems, Fabrication Enterprises, KLM Laboratories, MW Therapy, and ReDoc provide industry perspective, encouraging PTs and PTAs to ask questions about a supplier's ability to respond to regulatory trends, the product's safety certifications, and any history of enhancements, among other topics.

    "Before You Buy: 26 Key Questions to Ask Suppliers" is featured in the August issue of PT in Motion magazine, and is open to all viewers—pass it along to nonmember colleagues to show them 1 of the benefits of belonging to APTA. Printed editions of the magazine are mailed to all members who have not opted out; digital versions are available online to members.

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