Sponsored by Avante Health Solutions
The purchase of larger refurbished systems for diagnostic imaging and oncology such as linear accelerators, CT, cath labs and MRI can cost between $200,000 and upwards of $1 million. While these costs are a sizeable capital expenditure, the purchase of quality refurbished systems can present a great cost savings when compared to cost of the same new equipment.
Opting for refurbished equipment is particularly attractive if you match it with similar models that are already in use at your facility. This allows you to leverage the knowledge base and training of your treatment team while reducing the adoption time for a new technology. Refurbished equipment can offer the same performance and reliability as a new model, at a fraction of the price.
But with so many resellers of medical equipment out there, how can you be sure the benefits of purchasing a refurbished system do not end up as a loss in revenue and quality patient care?
When choosing an equipment provider, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
To answer these questions, you should learn everything you can about your equipment provider. To start, ask the company to provide references of facilities that purchased the equipment you’re looking for, including recent sales and sales of at least the past five years. This will give you a better idea of how the equipment has functioned over time and how good the ongoing support has been.
Visit and tour the company’s facility and bring both administrative and technical personal from your organization. The company should make the same available. This visit will give clear indication of quality of work and capabilities of the organization.
They should have plenty of inventory, the ability to fully test systems and a large inventory of parts to support ongoing maintenance. Have them show you their processes for refurbishment, delivery and installation. Be sure to ask if the company has certified quality management systems. Medical device companies whose processes have achieved ISO 9001:2015 or ISO 13485:2016 have demonstrated the ability to provide products and related services that consistently meet applicable regulatory requirements.
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind during the vetting and installation process is the company’s service and maintenance capabilities. Once the system is installed successfully, you want the cost savings to continue throughout the ongoing maintenance and service process. Choosing the right provider can offer your facility cost-effective service while ensuring you have the quality, performance and uptime you need.
In addition to cost, you also want to make sure your equipment provider has the ability to perform service and maintenance for the multiple brands that are typically found in a medical facility. By taking advantage of your provider’s wide range of experience, you have the benefit of a single source for support and billing while still having skilled technicians work on your systems.
The availability and pricing for parts is another important consideration when making your selection. While it’s expected that a manufacturer will have parts readily available, this may not always be the case. It’s also important to determine how many parts they actually have in stock, rather than “available.” Having easy access to parts is critical for fast turnaround on repairs.
Choosing the right equipment provider will not only result in cost savings, but it will also ensure a seamless transition from purchasing, to installation, to ongoing service.
Avante Health Solutions is the largest independent provider of equipment, service and parts for all diagnostic imaging and oncology devices worldwide. Avante’s quality management processes have been ISO 13485:2016 certified. Avante is committed to lessening the financial burden of equipment acquisition and continuing equipment maintenance so that you can maintain the quality of care for your patients.
Jim Sharkey is vice president of oncology operations for the Avante Health Solutions Center of Excellence in Charlotte, North Carolina.
For more information on diagnostic imaging and oncology equipment solutions from Avante, visit avantehs.com.
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