With rising healthcare costs over the last few decades, the role of purchasing within hospitals has gained attention. Though there have been rampant calls for cost reduction in the healthcare industry, concerns over the effect of cost reduction on the quality of service have increased. While governments and insurance agencies considerably pressure healthcare providers to reduce costs, it is not prioritised during surgical supplier selections to deliver medical and surgical instruments. The focus still relies on more essential attributes such as product quality, delivery and service. Studies have found that suppliers rarely meet customer expectations on critical supplier selection attributes. The same can be said for medical instrument suppliers in Australia.
Purchasing medical equipment for hospitals, labs, or clinics in Australia is daunting. People only look at the brand name and convince themselves that they are getting the best product without doing any additional research. There are so many surgical devices in the market, each for a different purpose, that it becomes necessary to ask your potential biomedical equipment providers the right questions. Since high-quality health care depends on accurate diagnostics and services, proper research is essential while purchasing any medical equipment.
Below are some specific areas that you should look into before selecting a company that provides medical and surgical supplies in Melbourne and the rest of Australia.
The Reputation of Suppliers and Manufacturer
There are several players in the healthcare industry, making it difficult to distinguish between genuine and fake products, especially if the sales are made online. Therefore, it is vital to research before narrowing down potential suppliers and making purchases. Network with others knowledgeable about healthcare equipment, or contact a biomedical service provider to give you the information about equipment and its manufacturers. Use industry experts to know about various medical equipment supplies, post-sales, service, technical knowledge and customer reviews. Though this is something everyone naturally performs, this is not the only consideration you should make.
Variety in Medical Equipment
Reliable suppliers will have a wide variety of products to sell in a narrow market. The wide variety and product inventory allow customers to be flexible in analysing equipment, technical expertise, functionality, testing and reviews. Assess these attributes of a supplier’s product inventory by checking their websites and brochures.
This is very significant in the medical world, primarily when the business model depends on success and accuracy. Look for ISO-certified products and warranties, as these determine the quality of the product. External bodies that the company or manufacturer does not own give ISO certification and therefore provide an independent and unbiased review of the product. Third party biomedical technicians can also attest to the quality of equipment or the manufacturer as they deal with all kinds of medical equipment, which makes the opinion unbiased and well-informed.
After Sales Service
Regardless of the quality of the medical product, it is likely that it will run into problems during the first three months. This could range from a simple adjustment issue to a major component replacement. At this time, it is crucial that you receive adequate support after the purchase and installation as it affects your purchase satisfaction. Make sure to get the warranty in writing and fill out and send any warranty cards that come from the supplier or manufacturer. The time it takes to respond, the support they provide, and the availability of emergency contact numbers are the best way to ensure smooth operations.
Sound Technical Knowledge
One aspect that cannot be overlooked while making a medical equipment purchase is the technical knowledge of the supplier and manufacturer. One way to ensure that the equipment purchased can be correctly installed and fixed in a timely manner is to check for OEM training certificates. This training is available to the third party or in house biomedical technicians from the supplier. If the supplier cannot provide technician training, there is no assurance that the equipment will be handled correctly. The quality of the equipment directly depends on the knowledge of the medical equipment repair and maintenance technicians. Proper technical expertise is essential for product and profitable medical services with negligible downtime.
Quality is critical when it comes to purchasing any medical or surgical equipment in Australia. However, quality fails when the usage is complicated. When you have no idea how to use medical equipment, and everyone’s feedback says that it is tough to use, it basically renders the equipment you spend huge sums of money on useless. The use and functionality of the equipment should be easy, and if it is not, then proper training and manuals should be provided by the supplier or manufacturer for future use. While purchasing any medical equipment, make sure to look over the manual to ensure that the equipment performs to your satisfaction and it is easy to understand the functioning of the product.
To ensure that you buy the right product from the right manufacturer, see to it that potential suppliers meet the above considerations. There is no guarantee that the equipment you buy will not malfunction; however, by looking into the equipment supplier and manufacturer, you significantly reduce the risk of getting a bad product experience.