In our previous two blog posts, we talked about the challenging task of purchasing equipment, the questions you can ask to start preparing for large equipment purchases, and the first three considerations including budget, service contracts and parts and consumables.

If you haven’t read either of those blog posts, then check out blog 1 and blog 2. This week we will conclude this blog series with the final three considerations including technical support and system updates, end-users, and usage.

Six Key Considerations for Purchasing New Equipment (continued):

4. Technical Support & System Updates – Technical support and system updates are often bundled in the terms & conditions with the purchase of an expensive service contract. Since organizations have alternatives to the traditional service contract, it would be advantageous to negotiate technical support and system updates at the initial purchase of costly equipment. Technical support should be easily accessed via a toll-free number and system updates should be provided at no-cost since their goal is to eliminate a manufacturer malfunction or enhance the overall performance of the hospital or lab equipment.

5. End-Users – The technical skill level of the end-user should be considered before making a significant purchase.
Ask these questions when thinking about your end-users:

  1. Does purchasing the most technologically advanced portable X-ray machine require additional training for end-users?
  2. Will they need training to learn how to optimize results?
  3. If so, is training provided by the manufacturer either online or in-person and at what cost?
  4. Will end-users be able to track the equipment’s usage, maintenance, and vendor performance reports?
  5. Will those reports be provided at no cost or is there an upgrade charge to utilize?

6. Usage – Usage is often overlooked but should be considered in the decision process. How often and in what environment will the equipment be used is a major factor in determining the best type of equipment. The ways in which the equipment will be used will help determine the list of equipment features needed to get the job done efficiently and in a timely manner.

It can certainly be an intimidating project when trying to decide on the right equipment to purchase for your healthcare facility or lab. It’s vital to choose wisely when making a significant capital purchase, so gather your information and ask the right questions before making a decision. Buying equipment is a lot like buying a car—there are many makes and models and a variety of vendors to choose from, but hopefully these six considerations will help make the decision process a little easier.

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