It’s important to always keep your home medical equipment in great shape. For many people, it’s what keeps their independence or a form of independence. If the right medical equipment is functioning properly, it makes the person using it the best they can be.
While there is no sure-fire way to totally avoid incremental damage due to wear and tear, there are steps you can take to keep your investment in good shape. Keep the following points in mind when you purchase a new item.
- Keep It Clean. This sounds simple, but you would be amazed at the number of dirty pieces we repair at the store! Wiping down your walker or scooter (etc.) once a month does wonders combating dust and dirt buildup.
- Don’t Force It. If something is ‘not-working,’ don’t try to force it to work! This is especially true for new pieces. If something is ‘off’—call your retailer and figure out why. Breaking a major part due to force may even void a warranty.
- Watch Your Batteries. Keep batteries for power chairs, mobility scooters, and other mobility items charged. Charging once a week will help you avoid gradual battery degradation.
- Proper Storage. If you aren’t using a specific piece of equipment, keep it stored in an area where it won’t get damaged or collect excessive dust.
- Proper Use. Make sure you aren’t being too rough with your equipment. Most medical equipment is durable (it’s referred to DME—Durable Medical Equipment—for a reason), but it can be damaged just like any other durable product.
Following these basic tips and throwing in some common sense can add years to the life of your medical equipment!
New medical equipment is sold just like new cars that come with different warranties and warranty packages. Each manufacturer has their own separate warranty policies, but there are important pieces to look for. Let’s go over what warranty clauses you need to check out.
For each of these categories, you should look at how long the warranty lasts, parts coverage, labor fees, shipping fees, and void clauses.
- Electronic Parts. Probably the most important warranty clause to look for—how comprehensive is the electronic parts warranty? The longer this warranty item lasts the better!
- Specific Mechanisms. In powered equipment, like lift chairs and scooters, specific mechanisms (motors, suspensions, etc.) may have separate clauses from the electronic parts. Make sure the important part of your equipment is covered!
- Parts (General). This is mostly important when it comes to minor, ‘cheap’ parts. Plastic seals and rings will break more than metal pieces and can be very hard to find outside of a manufacturer warranty.
- Frame. If you are purchasing a large piece of medical equipment (Scooter, Lift Chair, Stair Lift, Hospital Bed, etc.) check if there is a lifetime frame warranty. Many quality manufacturers will offer a lifetime frame warranty. Keep in mind that frame issues are very rare, but if you experience one, you want to be covered! Note: This may be covered in a limited or lifetime warranty clause.
- Comprehensive. The ‘best’ type of warranty, as it covers everything for the specified time. Remember to check if a comprehensive warranty includes labor.
Repair labor is important to understand. I am referring to the work someone will need to perform to actually fix a piece of medical equipment. Many warranties do not include labor—they will send you the parts at no charge but will not pay for installation.
What can you do if you don’t get free labor with parts for more complex pieces of home medical equipment? There are a few simple steps you can take to get the conversation started.
- Call the Manufacturer. The manufacturer may not be able to directly provide labor, but they usually have contacts to help you (in most US regions). If your manufacturer can’t offer help outside of the parts…
- Call a Local Medical Equipment Retailer. A brick and mortar store that specializes in medical equipment is your best bet for a cold-call for help. If you don’t have a store nearby…
- Call Your Doctor or a Local Hospital. This is your last line of defense when it comes to finding help with repairs. A hospital will have contacts with medical suppliers and manufacturers, so they will most likely put you in touch with someone that can help.
Used Medical Equipment
Used medical equipment can be extremely tricky to repair. Most medical equipment warranties become voided after the equipment changes hands for the second time. On top of this, medical manufacturers often don’t sell or ship parts directly to the consumer. What can you do to fix a nice piece of used medical equipment?
- Call a Local Medical Equipment Retailer. For repairs on any out of warranty or used medical equipment, a local retailer should be your first call. Most medical equipment retailers will also have a technician or repairman on staff to help with installation or repair.
- Call Your Doctor or a Local Hospital. If you don’t have a local medical retailer a hospital or doctor can provide you with phone numbers or websites.
- Use the Internet. Use a search engine to find the manufacturer of your equipment and give them a call. If they can’t help you…
- Search the Internet for Articles or Videos. Type your model name and problem into any search engine and see what pops up. YouTube is a truly amazing thing and there are thousands upon thousands of videos on general medical equipment maintenance.
If you resort to internet searches before finding your problem, be sure to find a handyman to help with your repairs or installation. This is especially true for any electronic equipment!
Medical Equipment Repair and Warranty Options in Omaha and Lincoln
Kohll’s Rx has Certified Home Medical Equipment staff that are expertly trained. They go to someone’s home or someone brings the equipment to the store. Since this is a highly skilled individual, Kohll’s tries to have one technician always on staff Monday through Friday from 9am until 5pm at the Millard location. Kohll’s has been repairing home medical equipment for decades.
Repairs on walkers, power wheelchairs, manual wheelchairs, canes, crutches and more can be handled without an appointment. Barring a wait for a part we don’t have in stock. Contact us through our web page or call us and describe your problem for a more specific answer.
If you purchase certain medical equipment from Kohll’s Rx, we even offer our own in-house extended warranties.
Purchasing medical equipment for your home is not cheap. Protecting your home medical equipment investments are key to keeping you as independent as possible, so should be a priority after purchase.