Using traditional plaster casting and measurement methods can feel reassuring. But more and more professionals realize how time and money-consuming they are compared to a digital, more efficient method. 3D scanning can have two major impacts on your O&P clinic: saving time and money.
1. How will 3D scanning save you time?
First, plaster casts and manual measurements can take from 20 to 40 minutes depending on the clinician and the patient. And from a professional to another, measurements of the exact same patient will vary because of the differences in pressure applied. Moreover, a time for cleaning the room is necessary after plaster casting.
A digital cast can be obtained in less than 2 minutes without any mess while the measurements can be instantly extracted with a single click. This way, your work is more efficient, and you can see more patients in one day or just have shorter workday.
Besides, it is easier to have consistency in the measurements between the clinicians, which is not the case with traditional methods as we have seen earlier. This consistency saves a lot of time when clinicians compare their measurements or opinions.
And, as 3D scanning allows you to have all your measurements in a digital format, they are easier and faster to store, find, and share with your C-Fab/Lab. As you probably know, a 2-3 days shipping delay for the plaster casts to arrive at your C-Fab/Lab is often necessary. With your digital data, sharing is instantaneous.
2. How will 3D scanning save you money?
Plaster bands, stockinets, fibre glass socks and foam boxes are usual materials needed, regularly bought, and thrown away in an orthotic clinic using traditional measurement methods. Also, in case the cast you sent is damaged during the delivery process, you need to cast your patient again, almost doubling your costs (and reducing your benefits) for this prescription.
When opting for a digital method, you won’t need storage space nor to manage these stocks. And, some C-Fabs/Labs you could partner with would assume the cost related to the digital cast as they need it for their design and fabrication processes. Otherwise, it is good to know that if you need to process your digital cast yourself, like for in-house fabrication, costs for exporting your reconstructed 3D file in a compatible format start as low as US$ 1 for some available solutions.
Using a digital casting and measurements method requires a moderate investment in the beginning. But this smart investment reduces your recurrent expenses, starting right on your first scanning day. The traditional method may seem more affordable, but in fact, it involves higher and infinite recurring costs.
Besides, digital files acquired with 3D scanning allow you to reach out to more C-Fabs/Labs and choose the most affordable one for each product. In the traditional way, it is harder to reach out to C-Fabs/Labs outside your local area due to high shipping costs.
Finally, speaking of shipping, the costs you have to assume to ship your plaster casts can be reassigned within your business, as sending your digital files and data is completely free.
Opting for a digital casting and measurement method is a fast solution to drastically optimize your time consumption. Plus, this will allow you or your clinicians to meet more patients every day, increasing your volume without increasing your resources needed.
Moreover, a moderate investment in the beginning will also decrease your recurring casting costs, if not eliminating them completely.
And, as your material and shipping needs will decrease as well as your material wastage, you will have resources you will be able to reinvest in your growth while positioning your clinic as eco-friendly to attract new customers.