March 6, 2015

“Do more, for more people, with less” is the mantra in healthcare. But is it realistic when it comes to medical equipment? You bet. More than doable, it’s repeatable when you follow the right recipe — one with well-documented results. It starts with a lifecycle management plan designed to increase the life, uptime, performance and utilization of medical equipment. Driving this plan is an evidence-based approach to five stages in the life of your equipment.

1.    Capital Equipment Planning

  • Aligns with your organization’s mission, vision and long-term goals for the entire hospital or system (not just clinical engineering).
  • Right-sizes technology by removing excess and needless equipment (therefore eliminating needless labor, preventive maintenance, repairs and parts).
  • Starts with an inventory assessment across all departments and modalities to pinpoint gaps and overages.

2.    Selection & Procurement

  • Makes sense system-wide, not just department by department.
  • Includes input from the appropriate experts.
  • Considers the total cost of ownership, which includes the cost of maintenance, service, parts and downtime over the equipment’s entire lifecycle.
  • Considers clinical, financial, technical and business criteria.
  • Negotiates with manufacturers to lower costs (e.g., opt for short-term warranty and rely on trained staff to service equipment)

3.    Implementation

  • Follows a standard, system-wide process.
  • Equipment works alongside the current equipment infrastructure.
  • Causes minimal impact on workflow, patient care and facility operations.
  • Ensures equipment is safe and ready for patient use, with timely and documented completion of both clinical and technical training before releasing final payment.

4.    Management & Support

  • Builds in-house service capabilities through training.
  • Employs a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to track, manage and report on all capital assets.
  • Tracks clinical performance, service delivery metrics, ROI and end-user satisfaction for each piece of equipment.

5.    End-of-life Management

  • Yields added value (and sometimes, dollars) from equipment that’s outlived its usefulness.
  • May include equipment resale, trade, disposal and redeployment.
  • Coordinates de-installations across clinical, finance, facilities, IT and purchasing departments to avoid over- or under-equipped status.
  • Generates revenue and/or offsets costs for new purchases.