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Equipment Planners and Your New Construction Project: 5 Things You Should Know

By CME on Aug 27, 2014 11:14:09 AM

ID-100186043Success in design and construction of healthcare facilities is dependent on, among other factors, a strong focus on the patient experience, application of cutting edge technology, adherence to a predefined schedule, and strict control of the budget.  With procurement consuming between 30% to 50% of total project funds, involvement of reliable clinical consultants and medical equipment planners is critical to the success of the project.

The role of the Medical Equipment Planner:  Why do you need one?

As the design and construction of hospitals change, the role of the medical equipment planner cannot be underestimated. Equipment planning is an ongoing process that starts right from the point when a decision is reached to create new, or modify existing use space, and today’s designs and constructions are influenced to a large extent by technological innovations.  This is why an equipment planner plays such an important role in the new construction process.

The medical equipment planner is a healthcare industry-specific professional who works with the hospital administrator, architect, engineer, contractor, project manager, and medical equipment distributor to plan, specify, purchase, and install the equipment for a new construction, expansion of an existing facility or a major remodeling project.  From the smallest trashcan to the largest piece of imaging equipment, the equipment planner helps:

  • The hospital to make equipment decisions
  • The architect and engineer to complete the design
  • The contractor to keep on the construction schedule 
  • The distributor to deliver equipment as per project schedule

Since, next to actual construction, a new facility’s equipment is the largest investment an owner will make in a project, it is a good idea to have an equipment planner, who also knows equipment and the industry so well that they can help the hospital with items that can be re-used and moved, and equipment that should be discarded or donated.

The equipment planner acts as the central source of information.  They help with dissemination and management of helpful technological information in the medical equipment industry.

So when should you bring in the Medical Equipment Planner?

The best time to bring in the planner is as early as possible once the expansion or remodeling decision is made.  This will make it possible for the business and clinical aspects of the affected services or departments to be appropriately considered for current and future clinical and demographic needs.

What are repercussions for bringing in the Medical Equipment Planner late?

While many entities are already aware of the consequences of completely failing to involve the medical equipment planner at all in a construction or expansion project, some are still not convinced on the significance of involving these experts right from the start.  What follows then is the struggle with the “what if” questions.  The equipment planner helps with streamlining decision-making, which in turn helps the facility hit design and construction deadlines.

Why collaboration in the decision making process is invaluable

While the equipment planner is just one of the many stakeholders who may be involved in the decision making process, never-the-less he, or she, is probably the one with the most experience and has the most insight into the nitty-gritty aspects of the construction project.  The equipment planner is often the one with the greatest understanding of both the product-specific issues as well as the broad-scope implications.

Even with the vast amount of information regarding particular items available on manufacturer websites, getting all the information necessary when making selections may not be so easy to come by.  Clinical staff may know what equipment they would like to install in this new area, but may not always have a clear understanding of all the attendant issues involved.  This is why it is essential to employ collaboration with a professional equipment planner in the whole planning process.

The significance of strategic sourcing

The purchase price of a particular piece of equipment is no longer the only thing to consider when outfitting a newly constructed, expanded or remodeled use space.  Once the equipment has been decided on, it must be purchased, delivered and installed.  Delivery options are an extremely important part of all the things to consider.  For best results, you need to aggregate planned purchases, optimally negotiate for terms of payment, maximize your utilization of contacts, and carefully time those deliveries to avoid workflow disruptions.

This is where CME can be even more beneficial.  We are devoted to:

  • Helping our clients negotiate the best purchase price for the equipment required.
  • Combining purchase orders to reduce processing costs.
  • Receiving, inspecting and storing the equipment until needed.
  • Delivering, installing and setting up the equipment on the floor and in the room where it is to be used.
  • Removing any packing materials involved.

Feel free to contact us for any questions you may have in this regard.

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Image courtesy:  tiverylucky/ Freedigitalphotos.net 

Topics: Equipment Planners, New Hospital Construction

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