Consider Long-Term Costs
Consider the after warranty service operations cost of new equipment. Yearly service operating costs can vary widely between vendors. It is common for a hospital to buy the latest technology, only to later discover that their service cost will triple (over current technology service costs) following a warranty period. Manufacturers are strategic. They know that there is only a short window of time for them to capitalize on service revenues related to a new technology. For example, high-end CT tubes are often patented, which creates a barrier for alternate source providers to create generic tubes for many years. Until the patent ends, alternative service providers are often locked out from developing the expertise to service equipment and provide alternative parts at significantly lower costs. Maybe the “latest and greatest” technology is not the best buy?
Despite the costs associated with hiring in-house technicians, there is often financial upside. With any new purchase, ensure your hospital based service provider training is included. Even if your hospital does not currently have service technicians to work on that equipment, you will want to have the option of hiring your own technicians, getting them trained, and providing service on the equipment over the life of the equipment.
Consider “Nearly New” Equipment
Hospitals are eager to acquire the most up-to-date technology for their patients. In our industry, we have grown accustomed to the latest and greatest available on the market. Having leading edge equipment may help attract doctors and even patients to your hospital. However, you should weight the real impact of the significant savings that can be found in purchasing “last year’s top model”, or even considering “previously owned” equipment.