Planning Your Next Medical Device Purchase
Medical devices have permeated healthcare like never before. From the humble thermometer to particle accelerators worth $100 million, they have enriched and advanced patient care. Better diagnosis, more effective, hassle-free treatment, and faster recovery are several ways in which healthcare has benefited from continual innovation in this space. It comes as no surprise that healthcare providers invest heavily in procuring medical devices for their facilities. However, without systematic and data based procurement decisions, they often end up spending unwisely on medical devices. The only tool that can turn around this situation is data and the insights you can glean from it. How do you use data effectively in a healthcare procurement scenario? What data is worth considering and what is not? Moreover, how do you make buying decisions inherent in the medical device ecosystem?
How Is It Done Now?
As per a 2009 Healthcare Financial Management article, $16 billion is spent per year on medical equipment, equating to about $25,000 per bed or $10 million annually for a 400-bed hospital. This number has continued to increase, with the advances in healthcare technology and consequently more sophisticated and expensive devices. Despite such huge expenses, healthcare providers often grapple with basic questions like the location and status of their current inventory, medical asset utilization levels, refurbishment plans, preferred vendors, post-sales service quality, spare part availability vs. requirement, and equipment readiness at any point in time. The complexity of managing multiple facilities in different locations completes the picture. At the root of all these problems lies inadequate medical device management practices and lack of sufficient information on the medical device ecosystem. A data-driven environment can enable healthcare providers to make wiser investments in their medical device landscape, ultimately improving staff productivity and patient care.
How Can It Be Improved?
Integrated medical device asset tracking will help healthcare providers have a complete view into their fleet of devices spread across various medical facilities. Once all the assets, including the ones not connected to the network, are under the radar of a comprehensive asset management solution, healthcare providers have every bit of information they need at their fingertips. This includes information on not just the current inventory and usage levels, but also on device performance and maintenance such as service contracts, frequency of downtime of devices from different vendors, time-to-repair, service quality, cost, etc. Historical data that is gathered can form the baseline of better buying decisions in the future. For instance, healthcare providers can avoid vendors whose products were running into issues frequently or whose service quality is unsatisfactory. These practices will gradually help them build an enhanced medical equipment mix, optimize medical device expenses, improve the efficiency of their assets and align the asset mix to patient needs, improving the quality of patient care. And isn’t that exactly what healthcare providers strive to do every day? Take the action to build an integrated medical device management practice that will enable you to track your devices-and take the first step towards better capital asset planning today!
To learn more about Unisys’s capabilities in healthcare and medical device management, please visit www.unisys.com/activeinsights/meddevice.