Procuring medical equipment is expensive, whether for a small private practice or a large surgical center. Understanding the shopping process can save you time and money and help you get a reliable device. Read this ultimate guide to buying medical equipment to learn more about making the best purchase for your staff and patients.
1. Know Your Facility’s Requirements
Start your buying journey by assessing your facility’s needs. What essential functions must your medical device fulfill? Consider if you need a simple-to-use device with basic functionality or one with enhanced features. Obviously, an operating room is going to need different equipment than a pediatrician’s office.
Also, consider dimensions and portability. Portable medical equipment can improve patient throughput by letting you bring the device to the patient rather than waiting for the equipped room to become available.
Buying new equipment can help you expand your services or provide better care to patients. For example, power exam tables make your office more accessible to various patients. Patients can transfer to the table more independently, and medical staff have a lower risk of harm during transfers.
Knowing your essential requirements doesn’t mean you can’t have extra features. But you’ll improve your shopping experience by understanding what you cannot sacrifice. Knowing your needs can make it easier for you to negotiate and compare products and pricing.
2. Choose a Reputable Supplier
Buying items from a reliable medical equipment brand isn’t the only way to ensure you get a reliable product. Purchasing from someone without authorization can cause you to lose money, receive broken or damaged equipment, or put your patients and staff in harm’s way. Shop from a reputable equipment supplier for a better shopping experience and better performance in your practice.
Learn the supplier’s strengths and what makes them stand out from their competitors. Some distributors service specific, small markets, while others work for more clients. Before shopping, ask suppliers about their experience.
Also, you must consider their customer satisfaction ratings. A reputable supplier should have a record of excellent customer service. Find out what other people in your position say about the supplier’s consistency, equipment quality, and communication practices. Finding a reliable supplier can help you save money and efficiently source equipment.
3. Understand the Products
At this point in the guide, you know what you need the equipment to accomplish for your healthcare facility, and you know to choose a reputable supplier. Now, you must understand the capabilities and specifications of the products you’re comparing.
Some of the top medical equipment brands include Welch Allyn, Midmark, Tuttnauer, and Brewer. You can research the strengths of each brand and find comparisons between products online. You can also ask your supplier specialist questions to learn about how these products can meet your needs.
Consider how special capabilities can help your practice. For example, if you’re shopping for a vital signs monitor, you might not need the newest model. If you find a monitor that’s simple to use, holds patient information, and allows the user to change settings quickly, you might decide these benefits provide excellent value to your fast-paced work environment.
4. Consider Refurbished Devices
One of the best ways to make the most use of your budget is to buy refurbished devices. Refurbished devices are products that experts recondition to make them like-new. Only certain types of equipment can go through this process, and sellers must identify them as reconditioned.
Many refurbished devices do not require significant work. Minor adjustments to equipment used for a short time, such as demo devices, can bring them to like-new condition.
Significant savings from buying refurbished make it possible for you to purchase more equipment, upgrade equipment sooner, or allocate the savings to a different part of your budget. Reconditioned devices can help you meet your equipment needs and budgetary demands.
Ask your supplier about their refurbishment process. At All States M.E.D., our team of experienced biomedical engineers inspects, repairs, and tests equipment so that we can offer you a reliable product every time.
5. Calculate the Total Cost of Ownership
Over-emphasizes the initial purchase price can cause you to miscalculate the cost of your equipment. Understanding your equipment’s total cost of ownership (TCO) can lower your operating costs.
The purchase order, shipping, warehousing, delivery, and setup comprise the acquisition cost. Software and IT support can increase overall acquisition costs depending on the equipment.
Operation costs include electrical and labor costs. Consider how much time staff must spend learning how to use the device. You will also want to note the money you can save with increased productivity thanks to your new device.
Lastly, consider repairs, maintenance, and upgrades. Properly caring for your device is essential for ensuring quality patient care and improving the lifespan of the equipment. Preventative maintenance reduces repair costs and downtime.
Ask your supplier about maintenance requirements before you purchase equipment. Understanding your responsibilities and available support will help you maintain optimal productivity, achieve the highest return on your investment, and ensure the safety of patients and staff members.
6. Ask About Financing and Savings Opportunities
You can stretch your budget further by asking your supplier about financing and savings. Leasing equipment can be part of your buying journey. If you don’t feel confident about buying a product just yet, consider leasing it to test it out.
Ask your supplier about medical equipment financing options. Attractive terms can make this a valuable opportunity for your practice and patients.
Promotions, rebates, specials, and coupons can help you to save money on your purchase. Sometimes, you can save money by buying equipment at the end of a financial quarter and at end-of-year sales that often start in November. Finally, you can sometimes receive a discount on your purchase when you buy equipment in bulk.
This ultimate guide to buying medical equipment demonstrates how complex the buying process can be. You must consider your patients’ needs and your budget, find a reputable supplier and reliable products, and make a valuable investment.
Every day, the team at All States M.E.D. sells new and refurbished equipment that enhances clinical and operational outcomes. Our refurbished ultrasound machines save on cost without sacrificing the quality of internal imaging. Shop with us today for ultrasound machines and other necessary medical devices.