Hospital system offsite healthcare facilities or satellite facilities have many of the same equipment needs as the parent facilities but have different setups when it comes to the delivery and reception of these items. The unique requirements for off-site facilities (like physician offices, surgery centers, and rehab centers) require some additional attention to allow for a smooth delivery process. Since equipment is frequently purchased through the purchasing department of the hospital or IDN (integrated delivery network), it is important to bear in mind the special requirements of these facilities.
Unloading & Movement of New Goods
It is likely they do not have a receiving department, but will still need to unload the equipment and get it to the right location in the clinic. You will not want to have a large piece of equipment blocking patient access to the lobby or exam room; or have the delivery person knocking on a door where no one can answer. The item might require a dock and specialized unloading equipment that are not available in the off-site location. If possible, you will need to set up delivery times and locations to ensure your goods get unloaded smoothly, and also allocate the proper staff to physically move and track this inventory without disrupting patient care.
Newly constructed facilities face additional challenges, beyond those already experienced by existing offsite clinics. The most important way to manage orders both during and after construction is complete, is through open and frequent communication with the delivery personnel. When possible, always update orders with accurate information on available entrances and parking. If things change quickly, hanging up a sign to direct the driver can be helpful. If parking is limited by construction equipment, try to schedule equipment delivery for a time when there will be minimal construction workers present, or no major projects going on.
Receiving & Inventory Management
Without a dedicated receiving and delivery staff, inventory management can be difficult. While many basic packages can be accepted at the front desk by administrative staff, these items still need to be tracked, cataloged, and stored correctly. Some suggestions for loss prevention and inventory management include:
Add additional staff or shifts dedicated to receiving on delivery days.
Create an in-house protocol for tagging and logging goods.
Designate a storage area for delivered goods that have not yet been tracked, assembled, and installed.
Loading Bays & Large Vehicle Parking
Unlike hospitals and large medical facilities, the off-site locations usually do not have loading bays and large parking areas to allow for larger vehicles. These facilities may not have assistance equipment such as pallet jacks or forklifts that can unload a tractor-trailer truck. Street parking or alley parking may be required since they do not have a loading dock available. You can check with local city officials to find out what your commercial delivery options are for your area.
End-use Site Installation & Cleanup
Some equipment may require assembly and/or mounting for installation. An employee may need to be designated to perform these functions, or you may need to hire an external professional assembler to do it. There may also be special equipment needed like power tools or wall mounts available to complete the process. Staff that are physically capable of moving heavy items and understand how to follow OSHA lifting guidelines may be required as well. Make sure cleanup facilities are available including trashcans and dumpsters.
A better alternative is to let us at CME take the hassle out of the whole process. With over 30 years of experience in procuring and delivering medical equipment to all different sized facilities, we are well prepared to handle all situations. Request a free project assessment on our website.