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.
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!