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Top five pain points when renovating a health care facility

February 03, 2017
Business Affairs
From the January 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Staging and assembly
For larger orders, staging equipment in an offsite warehouse makes the delivery process go much more smoothly. Equipment can be grouped together by type and delivery date, which makes tracking the equipment, loading it in the correct order and quickly installing it in the health care facility much simpler. Pre-assembling the equipment during the staging process saves time and ensures everything is put together correctly. It is more efficient to track, load and unload equipment that is assembled than it is to manage countless mismatched parts and attempt to put them together on-site. Health care equipment needs to be assembled exactly as intended. The pre-assembly is especially important for smaller facilities that do not have the in-house staff to assemble, once the equipment is delivered.

Receiving and unloading
Unless a distributer is consolidating the delivery process, facilities often need to receive multiple deliveries from different manufacturers. Small health care offices likely don’t have a receiving department with loading docks, palette jacks, forklifts and other necessary equipment, so special arrangements may need to be made to rent or borrow the equipment prior to delivery. Facilities also need to consider if additional staff is needed to help unload and carry the equipment to its final destination. You don’t want to resort to asking the anesthesiologist walking by if he can help unload an exam table.

Having designated employees to accept the delivery, sign for equipment and coordinate the process also makes it much simpler. If equipment is damaged, this needs to be reported and recorded so the products can be replaced and the appropriate insurance claims filed. Another issue facility managers often overlook is where to store the equipment once it is delivered. Not everything can be installed immediately, so you need to know how much space you’ll need, based on what is and is not going into storage.

Logistics and timing
Keeping a renovation, expansion or launch on time and under budget is key. A 20-doctor clinic can lose $125,000 in revenue every day it delays opening. Hospitals can lose closer to $400,000 to $500,000. For facilities that are renovating or adding equipment while still serving patients, deliveries need to be timed so they will cause as little disruption as possible — likely early in the morning, late at night or on weekends.

About the author: Cindy Juhas is the chief strategy officer of CME.

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