Whether you decide to open your own medical practice or you work in a hospital or clinical setting, you will quickly come to discover that there is a large market for preowned medical equipment. When you see the price tag for brand new equipment you'll understand why.
Medical equipment is necessary for any practice. Even if your small practice needs little more than basics like blood pressure cuffs, electronic thermometers, and some emergency equipment, buying new could still end up costing a pretty penny.
If you run a specialized practice or you happen to need special equipment for some of your patients, the costs could quickly skyrocket. Don't forget, these machines require ongoing maintenance and eventually repairs, adding to the overall costs.
It's the price of doing business. Or is it? When you elect to purchase preowned medical equipment, you could end up with all the machinery your practice needs at a fraction of the cost.
Of course, it will do you little good if it doesn't work. Here are just a few important factors to consider before you jump into buying preowned medical equipment for your healthcare facility.
This is priority number one. The machine has to work and it has to provide something for your business that you really need. In some cases, this could be machinery that is newer, better, and faster than old equipment and that offers new features designed to increase effectiveness and efficiency.
Or you might be in the market for something your practice currently lacks that could be useful to a large number of patients. The point is, you want to provide the best possible care for patients, even if that means speeding up common tasks so that you can process patients more quickly and/or see more patients daily.
Think about the functionality and use value you'll gain through your purchase before you start dropping money on great deals that will provide only negligible improvements to your practice.
The age of medical equipment is important for two reasons. First, the older a piece of equipment is, the more likely you are to suffer malfunctions, breakdowns, and other occurrences that require repair or replacement.
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, older machines could be too outdated to be effective. The technology associated with healthcare is changing rapidly, and while you don't always have to purchase the most up-to-date products for your practice, there are certain items that simply won't be viable due to their age.
Medical equipment needs to be in good working order if you plan to rely on it for patient care. You should therefor make a point of asking plenty of questions pertaining to former use and service records for the equipment.
If at all possible, inspect the equipment before your buy it. Plug it in and make sure it functions properly. If you're buying it remotely, at least ask for an assessment of the condition and some photos to peruse.
It's a good idea to find out whether the used equipment you plan to purchase has been refurbished or if it is merely being sold "as is" and "buyer beware". You may be willing to spend a bit more on refurbished pieces that have been repaired and fitted with replacement parts as needed. This means you won't have to take on the time and expense of refurbishing them yourself - you can put them right to work.
In truth, the brand is not the most important thing. What you want is quality. However, being familiar with different manufacturers can give you information about the quality of goods they produce.
Purchasing equipment manufactured by brands that are known for high-quality materials and processes, longevity, durability, functionality, and user-friendliness is in your best interest. You should also seek out brands that offer exceptional customer service and support.
The bottom line is always going to be a factor, although buying preowned equipment definitely gives you greater buying power than purchasing brand new. You'll definitely find better prices on used equipment and you may even be able to negotiate the price somewhat, depending on the seller and your relationship with him or her.
Still, you want to make sure you're getting your money's worth. Even a steal on a piece of equipment can be a waste if it's non-functional, outdated, or ultimately unnecessary for your practice.