It does not take much strength to do things,
but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.
- Elbert Hubbard
When you’re about to begin planning a project to develop a primary care facility, you may divide that project into phases. One of those phases will likely be supplies and equipment provision/acquisition.
If you’re in charge of medical equipment procurement, you already know what the basic minimum equipment should include, so here’s a short – and by no means complete – basic list:
- AED (automated external defibrillator)
- Basic diagnostic (blood pressure monitor, thermometer, pulse oximeter, etc.)
- Blood Draw, Exam Room, Office and Waiting Room furniture
- Body weight scales
- Break room appliances (microwave, toaster, coffee maker, refrigerator/freezer, etc.)
- Cabinetry and storage shelving
- Computers, printers and accessories
- Emergency equipment and supplies (airways, aspirators, oxygen, mask, resuscitation bag/mask, etc.)
- ECG unit and accessories
- Exam tables (bariatric, pediatric, power)
- Eye charts
- Janitorial equipment
- Laboratory diagnostic equipment (centrifuge, urine/chemistry/glucose analyzers, microscope, specimen refrigerator/freezer, etc.)
- Procedure tables
- Protective equipment (gloves, aprons, eyewear, facemasks)
- Sharps containers
- Specialized equipment (spirometer, fetal monitoring…)
- Specialized lighting
- Stainless steel equipment
- Step stools
- Water filtration system
Purchasing for a private practice is only slightly different than hospital procurement, but there are differences when you’re the buyer for a primary care practice, including patient flow and delivery constraints (You probably don’t have a loading dock).
Here are some special suggestions to consider:
The basic balance scales are still quite reliable for patient body weight/height data. But you might want to upgrade to a higher level unit that addresses cross-contamination with antimicrobial coating; so critical in our current healthcare environment. Don't forget another healthcare epidemic, obesity. You may need scales that can measure weights up to 1,000 pounds for any clinic that treats morbidly obese patients.
In the exam room, do you prefer manual or automatic exam tables? Whichever works for your staff is fine, but what works well for your patients is more important. A low, 18" height, may be easier for your patients to access. You may also want to look at specialty furniture that your podiatry or dental practice will need.
You may want to pay particular attention to:
- wall decorations - especially for pediatrics;
- emergency equipment, like a state-of-the-art defibrillator, resuscitation and oxygen supplementation equipment;
- infection control items like glove, mask and eyewear dispensers; and
- particular cleaning agents that are anti-microbial.
As a comprehensive medical equipment supplier with a focus on specialized service, we here at CME understand and we can help. Many primary care facilities order equipment from several sources; this may mean staggered delivery dates and you may have to store some equipment and/or assemble other equipment. With CME, you have, literally, one-stop shopping. You’ll have a single point of contact who will ensure all your equipment is pre-inspected and arrives at the same time, fully assembled.
**JULY 2017 UPDATE: This blog has been updated to reflect the changing needs of your care practice. Please see A Complete List of Medical Equipment Must Haves for Your New Exam Room