We often notice that a medical facility and its departments rush to purchase medical equipment without any form of planning because the budget has been approved or there is an emergency need. These snap decisions can be detrimental for a department’s budget in the long-run.
Rarely do these purchases come with the advanced knowledge of the Total Cost of Ownership. Like any other large purchase, there is added value in planning during the budgeting process and before the purchase has been made. Departments should take into consideration a simple checklist:
- Are all potential users trained on the brand you intend to purchase?
- Are consumables needed for use? If so, what is the cost?
- What is the expected life-span of this piece of equipment? Can it be supported past this timeline?
- If purchasing used or refurbished equipment, what condition is it in?
- What are the service and preventative maintenance requirements?
- What are the common parts needs for repairs and service and how can those be obtained?
All these questions point to an increase in the total cost of ownership for a medical equipment purchase and rarely do healthcare organizations have the knowledge and experience to answer them quickly; except for your biomed department and BMETs.
Your biomed department, whether in-house or outsourced through and ISO can be a valuable resource to assist you with pre-purchase planning and provide a more accurate estimate of the total cost of ownership. These BMETs will be able to determine the status of the equipment, the anticipated recurring costs for normal use, connectivity with your IT needs and data collection (PHI), the personnel hours needed for training and service, and provide you with service recommendations to extend the total lifespan, thus maximizing your ROI.
Helpful Hint: Ask your BMET team to provide a simple grading system (A, B, C, D, F) when comparing the benefits of each piece of medical equipment in consideration. If it’s a tight race between the top choices, their grade could help tip the scale.
Budgets are constantly decreasing, and hospital administrators are expected to do more with less. Engaging your BMETs will ensure that you are capable of making the best decision. Allow your biomed team to become your partner in this process and you’ll find out just how valuable they truly are.