by Monica Caldwell, Director, Contracting Solutions, Intalere, and David McAndrews, Senior Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Block Imaging
With healthcare facilities balancing cost pressures against the need to upgrade equipment and facilities, the use of refurbished healthcare equipment as a low-cost alternative has grown significantly in the past several years.
Previously, options for buying refurbished equipment were narrow, with only a handful of suppliers who were just beginning to build programs that offered expertise, quality and excellent customer service. Over the past decade, however, the market has matured and quality options have grown in terms of equipment selection, service support and replacement parts.
Among the benefits of buying refurbished equipment, cost savings generally tops the list. Many times a refurbished system saves its buyer more than 60 percent on the cost of new equipment. This brings a faster return on investment and helps justify the upgrade of needed equipment. As consolidation occurs in the healthcare industry and organizations acquire new clinics, outpatient centers, etc., this kind of justification is more valuable than ever in many different areas, including MRI, CT and mammography.
In recent years, the development of technological advancements in medical imaging equipment has slowed. Because of this, refurbished equipment with late-model technology, in many ways identical to today’s new equipment, has never been more accessible.
For those new to the idea of considering refurbished equipment, it’s important to understand that refurbished equipment differs greatly from used equipment. Refurbished equipment goes through comprehensive procedures to restore it to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) standards for performance and to like-new cosmetic status. Processes include decontamination, refinishing, parts replacement and re-calibration among others. Consider it similar to purchasing a certified pre-owned car, complete with a guarantee versus buying a car straight out of someone’s driveway. The processes and expertise involved in refurbishment are an important distinction from used equipment, which can be resold as-is, without any warranty.
Refurbished equipment is also beneficial in that it can be a proven and familiar technology, speeding staff acceptance and minimizing retraining needs. Compatibility with other existing equipment is also a possibility, offering further savings on new supplies and accessories.
The purchase of refurbished equipment helps achieve the dual goals of maximum clinical functionality and budget-friendly planning. Considering refurbished options in your capital equipment procurement strategy and partnering with an industry expert to help identify best-case scenarios for space, clinical needs, service and cost are smart moves for any healthcare facility.
To learn more, download the white paper 6 Questions to Ask Before Buying Refurbished Medical Equipment from Intalere and Block Imaging.