The Daily Grind features blogs that concentrate on issues affecting offices across the country. The goal is to enlighten, amuse, and interact with our followers.
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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Buying Healthcare Equipment? Read These 5 Tips First

If you are familiar with Remi’s white papers and blogs, you know that choosing the right service vendor to maintain your electronic equipment is just as important as choosing the actual equipment. In a blog from April 2012, I list 7 tips to consider before buying new office equipment. Today, I am going to talk about the top 5 tips you need to know before buying new or used healthcare equipment no matter what sector of the healthcare industry you might work. Whether it is diagnostic imaging equipment in a hospital, an X-ray machine in a dental office, a laser in an eye care practice or virtually everything in between, the premise is the same – do your due diligence up front to avoid expensive and time consuming hassles down the road.

Below are 5 tips for choosing reliable, cost-effective healthcare equipment:

Online Equipment Rating

Today, you can find a rating for just about anything online and there’s no shortage of equipment ratings. One popular site for healthcare/medical equipment is MedWrench, The Medical Product Support Network. On the site’s homepage, you can search for a piece of equipment and in return, you are provided the item’s description, features, photos, available documents, questions and answers, and reviews.

Remember, it’s important to keep product reviews in perspective. One bad review shouldn’t take the piece of equipment out of the running. Any good review will include details, not just general statements like great price or sales rep was rude. It’s also a good idea to consult similar healthcare professionals to see what medical equipment makes and models they are using.

Cost of Maintenance 

Before purchasing new or used healthcare equipment, it’s important to consider the cost of maintenance during the equipment’s lifecycle. An inexpensive purchase price doesn’t always mean little to no maintenance costs and vice versa. If buying new, ask the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) about scheduled maintenance and the availability of new and used parts.

Vendor Options

Just like the online equipment ratings, there are sites to review service providers as well. Start with the Better Business Bureau, then consult your healthcare industry colleagues again. When choosing a particular piece of healthcare equipment, you should have your choice of vendors and not just be limited to the OEM, which can often be a slippery slope. Once you've found some possible vendors,create a checklist and interview them as if they were applying for a job. This last step ensures everyone is on the same page and will help avoid any fall-outs down the road.


Decide if you want to buy or lease your medical equipment. There are pros and cons to both and each need to be considered for your particular working environment. If you choose to buy, you will be responsible for the repair and maintenance of the equipment but it’s now an asset. If you choose to lease, the equipment maintenance is likely covered in the lease agreement but the equipment will never be yours.

New vs. Used 

Last but not least, you need to decide if you are going to buy new or used. Again, there are pros and cons to each here as well. If you purchase new healthcare equipment, it typically comes with a manufacturer warranty for the first year or two. If you buy used, there’s no warranty, but the purchase price is much lower.

In the words of the famous award-winning NBC public service announcement, The More You Know – the more you know, the better. Do research online, talk to your colleagues, and interview vendors before making any decisions regarding the purchase of healthcare equipment.

Did you recently purchase new or used healthcare/medical equipment? Share you tips with us!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Happy National Employee Health & Fitness Day

National Employee Health & Fitness Day falls on the third Wednesday in May every year and is May 21st this year. The holiday was created to promote the benefits of physical activity for employees at work. Everyone knows the physical and mental benefits of staying active and healthy, but how does it affect the workplace? Easy – increased employee engagement and productivity and decreased sick days! It’s also worth mentioning that a healthier workforce can improve healthcare costs. It’s not a black and white issue, but it can certainly help.

There are countless ways to celebrate National Employee Health & Fitness Day that are free or cost very little money. Companies can provide a healthy breakfast, lunch or snack, encourage employees to take a walk after lunch, hand deliver messages to coworkers instead of calling or emailing them, provide some sort of health screening or blood drive, or host a yoga or Pilates class outside. Choose the best option for your employees based on the type of workplace, location, and environment.

The ultimate goal is to turn one health and fitness day into a lifestyle change where health and fitness occur every day, not just at work but at home as well. Using the suggestions above, start bringing a healthy snack to work every day, start a walking group and take a walk after lunch every day, hand deliver messages to coworkers every day, or buy a yoga DVD to do at home…every day! It all starts by taking that first step and who better to help than employers, especially given employees spend over 30% of our lives working.

Eating Healthy at Work

In a previous blog, I mentioned how eating healthier can be a difficult goal to attain when the work-life balance is thrown into disarray. A hectic, unbalanced life often increases stress; and stress is known to affect your mood, energy levels, and eating habits. During the long, busy workday packed with meetings and conference calls, it’s often easier to grab a blueberry muffin from the break room than it is to mix up a cup of yogurt with a handful of fruit and granola. Now is the time to break those bad habits. Click the title above to read the whole blog for more information.

In another blog, I give some great tips on how to beat the “Monday blues” and stay productive at work. For example, create a foolproof routine in the morning, drink lots of water, avoid the office drama, and leave the office for lunch. For more details, check out the entire blog and neat infographic.

So, how will you celebrate National Employee Health & Fitness Day at work? Leave us a comment!

Remi will leave a delicious piece of fruit on employees’ desks and encourage employees to hand deliver messages to coworkers all day in an effort to stay healthy. Get your pedometers on everyone and let’s see how much ground we can cover in one day at the office!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What is it? …Ophthalmic Laser

What’s an Ophthalmic Laser? It sounds like something Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies would use to take over the world, but it’s not. An Ophthalmic Laser is most commonly used in LASIK, otherwise known as laser eye surgery, by an Ophthalmologist. An Ophthalmologist is a physician who specializes in medical and surgical eye problems versus an Optometrist, a healthcare professional who provides primary vision care.

The word “laser” is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. It’s used in the laser eye surgeries to correct myopia (nearsightedness, can’t see far), hypermetropia (farsightedness, can’t see near), and astigmatism (cloudy vision) by reshaping the eye’s cornea in an effort to improve the patient’s clearness of vision.  

According to Orbis International’s “Guide to Ophthalmic Equipment,” the main components of a laser system are the laser tube, the pump, the power supply, and the cooling unit. Different types of lasers emit specific wavelengths of light and are used to treat specific eye problems, such as myopia, hypermetropia, astigmatism, and glaucoma. Lasers are usually named after the active material used, e.g. an argon laser uses argon gas as its active material.

Laser technology has progressed to the point where LASIK in particular is done as an outpatient procedure with little to no pain. Patients’ vision is corrected almost immediately with a 96-99% success rate of 20/20 or better vision. The state-of-the-art lasers used today have outstanding precision, speed, and placidity.

If you own an Ophthalmic Laser, give us your thoughts. Did you buy the laser new or refurbished and what manufacturer did you choose? Did you choose the OEM service contract, T&M, an equipment maintenance management program, or something else?

Have you had LASIK? We’d love to hear from you as well! What is a good experience and would you recommend the surgery to others?

If you’d like more information on Remi and their Equipment Maintenance & Asset Management Programs for healthcare equipment, please visit

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What Does Shredding Have in Common with the House Cat and Easter?

If you haven’t hopped on the environmentally friendly bandwagon yet, now’s the time! Going green is a trend that’s in it for the long haul – from community farming and bike sharing to solar panels and recycling! The goal is to live a healthy lifestyle, personally and professionally, without leaving a large and often unnecessary carbon footprint. The idea is to reduce, recycle, and reuse; each concept can be applied to your personal and professional life in different ways. For the purpose of this blog, we will focus on the professional aspects; more specifically, life in the office.

First, try to reduce your overall consumption of office supplies, especially paper. According to, did you know that one tree makes 16.67 reams of copy paper? Now think about your office and how many reams of paper are consumed in a week, month, and year. Next time you are about to hit the print button, ask yourself if the presentation, email, article, etc. can be saved electronically instead. If yes, save yourself the paper, as well as the printer ink and wear and tear on the printer.

Second, non-sensitive documents that don’t need to be shredded can be recycled. Place a special bin just for paper in the office mail/copy room, then contact a local company to pick the bins up or schedule drop-offs once a month. Recycled paper can then be used to make new products, such as paper, paper towels, coffee filters, hospital gowns, and egg cartons just to name a few.

Lastly, non-sensitive documents that don’t need to be shredded can also be reused as note paper or wrapping paper for valuables being moved or going in storage. For the documents that do need to be shredded, there are some common and not-so-common ways to reuse the shreds.   

Check out these fun and interesting ways to reuse shredded paper, either at the office or take it home.

  • Easter grass – mix food coloring with some water, spray the paper, let it dry and you’ve got some colorful Easter grass
  • Kitty litter – save money and use the shreds as litter or use the paper to line the litter box before using traditional kitty litter
  • Packing material – bag the shredded paper up and use it in place of bubble wrap or Styrofoam popcorn when packing breakables
  • Pet crate liner – use the paper for your own animal crate or donate the shreds to a local animal shelter or vet
  • Potting soil – mix the shreds in with some potting soil to help hold in moisture
  • Compost – add the shredded paper to your garden compost, especially if the heaps contains a disproportionate amount of green material
  • Paper Mache – great for art projects; just make the paste and you’re ready to go
  • Fill a scarecrow – shredded paper works just as well as straw to stuff that scarecrow
  • Garbage bag liner – line the bottom of a garbage bag or recycling bin with shreds to absorb excess liquid

As much fun as shredding can be, always remember to follow the shredder’s directions carefully. It’s also important to perform regular equipment maintenance on the shredder; refer to the owner’s manual for specific instructions.

What does your office do to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce, reuse, and recycle? For example, Remi gives all new employees a ceramic coffee mug and eliminated the use of Styrofoam cups.

Monday, March 24, 2014

I am Remi! Featuring Diane Pfiester

Get to know a different employee every quarter.

Spring 2014

Diane Pfiester
Business Development

You are the Manager of the Direct Marketing Team, and undoubtedly the go-to person in Marketing. What do you like most about working in Marketing?
I love the creative aspect of the job. I get the chance to start from scratch on a lot of projects and see them all the way through. I also love that my job is constantly changing; we are always trying new ideas and it’s exciting to experiment and watch which ones become successful. 

A lot has changed at Remi since you joined the company in 2006, originally as a claims representative. Where do you see Remi headed in the next 5 years? 
I see Remi creating an even bigger presence in the marketplace and continuing to focus on giving our customers a better experience. Remi strives to make the customer happy and I think that goal will allow Remi to continue to grow and be even bigger 5 years from now.

To quote Bob Burg, a published author and public speaker, “All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.” What should people know about you and Remi? 
I think the most important thing to me is to treat people the way I’d want to be treated if I was in their shoes, and being around people that do the same with me and those around them. What people should know about Remi is that we have a lot of experience doing what we do. We are always looking to put the customer first and make sure they are happy with our service from start to finish. 

You are one of the few employees who have won the company’s prestigious Employee of the Year Award. If you could give a brief acceptance speech, what would you say?
I would just say thank you to everyone who has taught me about this business and for the opportunities I have been given. I started at Remi as a temp right out of college and I have been here ever since. The experience at a smaller and growing company like Remi is an experience that I think you can’t get at a big corporation, and I’m grateful that I've had the chance to learn and grow alongside such a great company.

Over the past eight years at Remi, who has been your role model or mentor?
Mardell, the Director of Marketing. When I started working for her it was my first job using my marketing degree. She gave me direction on what I needed to accomplish in the position, but she also allowed me to try new things and not be afraid if they didn't work out. She taught me to think for myself and gave me the opportunity to learn so much in the first few years here about marketing and business in general through real life experiences at the company. As new hires join the marketing department, I remind myself to try and do the same for them to allow for the same positive experience.

You have been with Remi since you graduated college. What is one piece of advice you would give to other young, ambitious employees at Remi?
Work hard and take on any task or job possible, even if it is outside of your job description. There is definitely a learning curve when it comes to completely understanding this business and you will learn the most from projects that are not a part of the everyday job and interacting with different departments. 

The NCAA March Madness is right around the corner. On your bracket, what teams are you predicting will make it to the final four?
Florida, Michigan State, Arizona, and Michigan.