It is not uncommon for procurement managers and buyers to become so focused on the large capital equipment items for their purchasing orders, that they overlook important supportive pieces that are required to make them functional. These pieces may include consumables and accessory items that will ensure the operational readiness of the large capital items.
Consumables & Capital Equipment
Without the consumable items, a facility can be faced with not getting the large capital items into service. For example, outfitting a new intensive care unit in a hospital may require the addition of new mechanical ventilators, but the ventilators cannot provide the desired function without the breathing circuits designed for use with them.
In this case, even though the breathing circuits are consumable items, a number of them can be included in the capital purchase because the ventilator cannot function without them. They should be included in the initial order and can then also be included as part of the capital expense. The replacement breathing circuits would need to be expensed as consumable items, but those included in the initial order could well be capitalized.
When specific consumables are not included in your capital equipment request, you may find that there are compatibility issues with the supply items you have on hand. New ECG units from the same manufacturer as currently in use may require different electrodes than those you have on hand. In addition, ineffective and inefficient supply items can lead to maintenance and management issues.
A thorough planning prior to placing your order will allow you to cover everything required for the equipment item to operate efficiently and reduce the possibility of interruptions to service or technical challenges created by compatibility issues.
Benefits of Standard Lists
When preparing your capital equipment purchasing order, it is advisable to have a standard list that you can refer to and use in preparation of your PO's. A standardized list will allow you to prepare a comprehensive overview of everything required for proper equipment operation and to provide effective patient care, including all of the needed accessories.
Accessories are crucial for the initial order since specific accessories are needed in order to perform certain procedures. Working with a dedicated medical equipment distributor or equipment planner can provide guidance in deciding what equipment will meet your needs as well as all of the consumables and accessories required.
You can work with them as a main point of contact to create a standard list for your initial order. You can then use that standard list to begin an organized procurement practice that covers every aspect of the ordering process.
End User Involvement
You can also look at easy collaboration between yourself and the people who actually use the equipment as the end user. This information can then be shared with the people who are responsible for the allocation of resources so that your consumables and accessories are already included in your new construction budget. You will then have an improved process to manage and maintain, not only your equipment, but regular supplies and consumables required by each department.
Standard Lists and VEN
Many healthcare facilities use the VEN system to identify priority items that are vital to the running of the facility and the treatment and care of patients. Your list can be based on Vital, Essential and Non-essential items that will assist you in the procurement process should you be faced with budget issues.
Working with a medical equipment distributor can then aid in keeping you within the framework of your budget to control costs. You will reduce duplication of items, prevent ordering expensive non-essential items and reduce costly over ordering.
CME has over 30 years experience in medical distribution. We have witnessed first hand how a few little oversights can make a major impact on the functional readiness of that new piece of equipment and the day to day operations of your healthcare facility. We can provide the essential supplies, accessories and equipment you need to effectively treat patients without delay or interruption.