| Thursday, January 21, 2016 |
Doctors can do a lot when it comes to diagnosing symptoms and providing treatment options for their patients, but to a large degree, they rely on medical equipment to properly do their job. Something as simple as a stethoscope, a pressure cuff, or a thermometer can provide valuable information when diagnosing patients.
Then there are much more complex and specialized pieces of equipment used in private practices and hospital settings. Of course, in this day and age, computer equipment and software that focuses on health informatics is becoming more and more essential.
This equipment can be pricy. How can healthcare providers determine which medical equipment to purchase? Here are some factors to consider.
Want and need are two different things. An OB/GYN practice with a high percentage of pregnant patients needs an ultrasound machine. The average physician can probably benefit from such equipment occasionally, but may not necessarily need it.
On the other hand, every doctor's office, clinic, and hospital stands to operate more efficiently by utilizing tablet technology instead of relying on paper charts in the exam room and then transcribing notes to a digital format after the fact. The level of necessity (and benefit to healthcare providers and patients) should play a major role in determining whether or not to purchase medical equipment.
2. Use Value
How much use are you likely to get out of a piece of equipment? If you often find yourself wishing you had a specific item for use in your practice, chances are you'll use it enough to make the purchase worthwhile. If you rarely have need for certain equipment and you have the option to send patients elsewhere on the rare occasions it would come in handy, then you should probably spare yourself the expense.
3. Testing and Reviews
There's something to be said for offering your patients access to the latest medical advances. However, you need to make sure before you buy the newest technology that it has undergone proper testing and that it is has been favorably reviewed and endorsed by credible and reliable sources.
4. Service and Support
Most medical equipment will, at some point, need servicing. Is this included in the purchase price? If so, for how long? Some equipment will require peripherals. How available are these items and how much do they cost? You might also need support should your machinery malfunction or fail.
Nailing down these extras is an important part of making smart decisions when it comes to purchasing medical equipment.
Because of the high cost of medical equipment, this can be a determining factor for many healthcare providers. It shouldn't be the only factor, though. Even if you have the budget to purchase equipment, consider need, use value, and of course, ongoing expenses before making your purchase.