Having an optimum medical equipment management program can be an elusive task with many moving parts whether you corral it all from within or rely upon sources outside your delivery network. However with a firm grip on just a few data points, you can take a great deal of time and frustration out of the equation no matter which way you manage your assets.
For those who rely heavily on resources outside the hospital, there are a few key questions you should pose to potential vendors. At the top of the list is Computerized Maintenance Management. Always ask the vendor for a sample demo. This will reveal how stringent the vendor is in monitoring both patient safety and cost efficiency, and give you a sense of how easy it will be to view work order history, track inspection results, confirm regulatory agency reports and see all off-contract costs.
Always request weekly or monthly reporting as standard policy. This keeps you completely informed when it comes to work being performed and subsequent results. From this you will be able to glean enough data to know what you are paying and what level of value and return on investment you are realizing as a result of the work.
Examine how your service provider assesses risk of failure. This is critical in the pre-purchase process. Costs often skyrocket when equipment obsolescence comes up unexpectedly and you don’t have a budget plan in place to cover an emergency replacement or upgrade situation. Remember this; you cannot use equipment age as the basis for your risk assessment. You must also consider diminishing availability of support in terms of technical service, training and parts replacement as these will become more expensive and difficult to obtain as time goes on. Accurate work order history will portend the potential for trouble if you pay attention to basic details such as equipment downtime trends.
Take a look at how your service provider determines service coverage.
Manufacturers and independent service providers vary greatly in their agreement packages. So it behooves you to understand what you are entitled to receive within the framework of your program. It may appear to be less expensive to sign an “inspection only” contract, yet turn out to be far more costly in terms of downtime because your PO procedure may be too cumbersome. You may want to provide a blanket PO for service with a relatively low spending cap. At the very least, always review and clarify what your vendors’ terms mean ahead of time and always assess costs by reviewing the reporting you receive on a regular basis.
If you would like to learn about how to make your medical equipment management more efficient, contact DESCO Medical Service: Andrea Bordenca at 774.306.2232 or firstname.lastname@example.org