From the January 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
By Cindy Juhas
Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, more health care facilities have embraced value-based health care.
The focus on cutting costs, increasing patient satisfaction, improving medical outcomes and reducing readmittance rates has revolutionized the industry, and has facilities focused on quality care and the patient. Many hospitals, clinics and outpatient facilities are taking on renovation projects, repurposing existing spaces and replacing outdated equipment to accommodate this new value-based health care model.
Many facilities are also discovering, however, that this is easier said than done. Between navigating the millions of product choices and tracking the hundreds or even thousands of pieces of equipment that need to be staged, delivered and maintained, facilities also need to manage the timeline carefully to avoid disruptions in patient care. The following are the five biggest pain points that facilities should be aware of before taking on a renovation project:
Product selection and purchasing
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It’s critical that facilities choose the product that will produce the best possible patient outcome at the lowest cost. While the most expensive product may be appropriate for a major surgery center, it likely isn’t the right fit for a two-doctor primary care office. For example, there is a large array of refrigerators that facilities can choose from to store vaccines, medication and other items that need to be kept cold. While a hospital may require several industrial-scale refrigerators to accommodate blood storage and the thousands of vaccines it needs to keep in stock, a compact, less expensive refrigerator will work well for a pediatrician’s office.
Similarly, facilities that perform surgeries and invasive procedures need to be more concerned about silver-based antimicrobial powder coatings for handrails and other high-traffic areas than an optometrist’s office does. Purchase orders are another expense that facilities often overlook. Just one can cost up to $125. With one room potentially needing equipment from 20 manufacturers, that adds up if you’re not going through a medical distributor that can help consolidate them.
The total cost of ownership of medical equipment is often overlooked. After everything is in place, there are ongoing maintenance, repairs and service or warranty contracts. IT connectivity and other costs related to supporting the new equipment also need to be factored into a budget estimate. Streamlining this process, either internally or through an outside medical distributor, can add significant value. Just by consolidating service contracts, facilities can save millions.