by Philip F. Jacobus
, CEO | December 13, 2016
From the December 2016 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
October 2017 will mark 40 years since the first time I deinstalled and moved a piece of medical equipment. It happened to be a rectilinear scanner that was destined for the People’s Republic of China.
Since that time, I have been involved in what seems like countless equipment moves from one part of the world to another. I have to say that the biggest problems I have had in my career have dealt with either deinstallation or transportation.
When you walk in to buy an iPhone, you know what you are getting. You expect to open the box and have everything work. And, in fact, you do. Most people expect that when a businessperson tells them they are going to do something, it is going to get done. But anyone who has been in the medical field for any length of time knows that the deinstallation of a piece of capital equipment has a lot of moving parts, each of which can derail the project and result in not being able to treat patients, and unnecessary expenses.
So, what is a fellow to do? Who can you trust? How involved do you have to be? What can you do to increase the chances that everything goes smoothly?
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Whether you are the vendor, charging to deinstall the equipment, or the customer with the equipment that needs to be deinstalled, in my opinion the rules are the same. Both of you have a vested interest. The vendor wants things to go smoothly because he or she wants a repeat customer, and a smart vendor doesn’t want any problems. As the customer, you want to minimize the impact that the removal has on your department, and you do not want a black eye with your CEO, either because you made a mistake in planning, or the person you hired made a mistake in planning.
So whether you are the vendor or the customer, your challenge is the same: How to make the perfect plan for the removal of your equipment?
Again, whether you are the vendor or the customer, you have to make sure that you are picking the right person for the job. If you are the customer, you want to go with a known entity. Maybe it is a person you know or a company you trust. Hopefully, you are able to select a company that you have a little history with. However, even if you know the company or the individual, things can still go wrong because somebody forgot something.
Make a checklist
I sit down at my desk with a sheet of paper and make a checklist of all of the things that have to happen, and try to decide who is going to be responsible for what and what can go wrong in the process. Here are a few things that a good checklist should include:
What is the best day for the removal? What is the best time for the equipment to be moved to the loading dock or truck? How many days will the deinstallation take?