Important tips to keep in mind when buying medical equipment.
1. Smart financing
While paying cash can be attractive, it has the drawback of cutting into your working capital that you may need for other expenditures. Look at finance incentives directly offered through the device company, or for a typically more personliased approach than the big banks, consider a specialist medical equipment finance broker. They can usually offer low-rate, low-cost finance packages with flexible repayment options to suit your individual circumstances.
Also consider capitalising equipment costs over time and recording equipment as an asset to be expensed in future periods. These capitalized costs can include all of the logistics cost associated with getting the equipment into the new facility.
2. Look for the warranty
Many manufacturers and/or distributors offer maintenance service and warranty contracts for their equipment. Read through the contract, but in most cases these warranties are well worth the minimal added fees.
3. Plan for space and development
Each treatment room in an aesthetic practice has its own unique demands. So before you assign new equipment to a room, ensure you have efficient space that enhances patient satisfaction and utilisation of the device.
4. Collaborate with your device company
Your rep should have the knowledge and experience to help evaluate your clinic’s needs along with the total ownership costs of medical equipment, as well as ensuring everything conforms to regulations, so take advantage of their expertise.
5. Anticipate the new arrival
Plan ahead and work with your vendor to avoid premature deliveries of your medical equipment. This will prevent potential damage and the costs associated with storage until the equipment can be delivered to its end-site. Conversely, equipment that is delivered too late can interrupt your patient care and cause expensive workflow delays.
6. Prevent patient/workflow interruptions
This point bears repeating; ensure that the delivery and set-up of all medical equipment purchases are timed effectively. Ideally, you’ll have this done just before opening or closing or other downtime periods when there is a minimal amount of patients in the building.
7. Involve the appropriate staff members
Any staff member who will be regularly interacting with the new equipment should participate in the entire capital equipment procurement process. This will help you avoid purchasing equipment with expensive, unneeded features or functions, as well as giving you the appropriate feedback for future options.
8. Inspect and test before ownership transfer
Before signing the final papers, make sure you inspect the equipment. This should include an electrical safety inspection as well as testing for operations before you give the final affirmation.
9. Take advantage of training
Manu manufacturers and distributors offer on-site one-on-one or group training to help ensure you maximise the results of your new device and offer safest treatment protocols to your patients.
* Source: adapted from blog.cmecorp.com
YOUR REP SHOULD HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE TO HELP EVALUATE YOUR CLINIC’S NEEDS, ALONG WITH THE TOTAL OWNERSHIP COSTS OF MEDICAL EQUIPMENT. THEY CAN ALSO HELP ENSURE EVERYTHING CONFORMS TO REGULATIONS, SO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEIR EXPERTISE.
Key questions to ask when purchasing new equipment or products
- Is it going to cannibalise another service I already have?
- Is it an improvement to what I already have?
- Is there a consumable? How much is that consumable?
- Is the system reliable?
- What do colleagues say about the device?
- How much space does it occupy?
- How much inventory is it going to require?
- What would needed service entail? Who provides it?
- Is there marketing support?