Physicians, hospitals, and even small medical practices all need medical equipment to serve their patients properly. It can be something as simple yet essential as a medical screen for patient privacy or as large as an imaging machine for conducting medical tests.
The rising cost of medical equipment repair prompts healthcare providers to compare the cost of fixing outdated, broken, unsafe equipment with the purchase of new. Before buying or replacing new medical equipment, there are a few factors you should consider.
The Role of Quality Medical Equipment
Medical equipment plays a significant role in helping to treat patients, especially those with special needs. For example, neonatal PICC catheters allow doctors and nurses to insert a catheter into fragile, tiny veins of premature newborns to provide nutrients and medication.
Technology has revolutionized medical equipment and can decrease the time it takes to perform tests, determine a diagnosis, and even treat patients effectively. Some newer machines include AI technology allowing physicians the power of a supercomputer to complete tasks and research in minutes that would otherwise take hours or even days. Built-in AI systems can help determine patterns and diagnose illness more efficiently than traditional methods.
The importance of quality equipment cannot be overlooked; it could mean saving a life or losing the battle. High-quality equipment that works every time is critical to maintaining your reputation, operating at peak performance, and remaining versatile with treating your patients.
Some additional factors to consider are:
- Reputation of the vendor – Ensure the company you are purchasing from is reputable, and the product is well tested with long-term results.
- Inventory – Do they have a large inventory or specialize in just one or two products? If you need a replacement machine, will they have it on-hand?
- Choices and options – Weigh all your options, and if you have choices, take the time to do the research and compare all the pros and cons of each piece. Some may come with extended warranties, servicing, or training.
- Service – Does the vendor offer service, or will you need to outsource that to a medical servicing company?
- Technical expertise – Is your staff well trained on the equipment, or will they require specialized training to use it safely?
- Cost vs. benefit – It might be easier to purchase name-brands, but it may not be the most cost-effective. Consider the purchase versus the benefits and whether it makes sense to look around for an alternate manufacturer with good reviews.
The Benefits of New Medical Equipment
There are vast benefits you can gain with the purchase of new medical equipment. Not only does more advanced equipment improve your patient care, but it also boosts customer satisfaction. No one wants to spend a lot of time in the doctor’s office or hospital. Using high-tech medical equipment, you can cut the patient’s recuperation time and get them back to normal and out the door quicker.
- New medical equipment can modernize your practice, increase your versatility, and help how you treat your patients.
- Another benefit is that unlike used or repaired medical equipment, new medical equipment comes with a manufacturer’s warranty to protect you against any defects or issues and an owner’s manual. This is especially important because much of the newer equipment uses computers and fixing or replacing expensive components could be an issue without a warranty.
- Many new equipment purchases also come with training and service after the sale to support use and maintenance.
- New equipment vs. refurbished may also be easier to insure and file claims for if something goes wrong.
- Parts and supplies are also an issue. Make sure before you purchase new medical equipment that any spare parts you might need, or supplies are readily available. A modern new machine is only as good as its functionality, and if you can’t get parts or supplies, it may sit there and waste money.
- Technological advances can make a huge difference in your ability to do your job well. If you opt for older or refurbished equipment, it may lack these critical elements that make all the difference in patient care and treatment options.
The Investment in Medical Equipment
New medical equipment may be costly at first, but the investment is worth it for a few reasons. Although you may not realize an immediate ROI, modern medical equipment may make your practice more competitive in the medical field, earning you more patients and customers than you would have without it.
New medical equipment can also help you expand your reach. If you can only service one patient at a time, you could double your earning capacity with updated equipment, which helps to fortify your bottom line.
In some cases, an investment in medical equipment may also help you tax-wise. Tax deductions are available for capital improvements and supplies, and you may be able to depreciate the cost over time.
Some things to think about when considering the investment in new equipment are:
- Will the new equipment fit with your practice and your overall business model? Does it support your goals?
- Is the new equipment going to work well with your patient demographic? If you are trying to change your customer profile, will this investment help target a younger/older/different patient?