A basic definition of capital equipment is, “an asset whose acquisition cost exceeds a certain amount.” This “set amount” will depend on the company and the term can be adjusted to capture the needs of the buyer. To qualify as capital equipment, the asset must have a lifespan of more than one year and will be expected to play a key role in production or any other area of business.
Capital approvals require detailed analysis and comparisons if the equipment items are to benefit the company to the maximum. This is why you need to involve a number of senior professionals within the company during the purchase of capital equipment. For instance, the C-level officer under whom the equipment will be utilized may want to have a say on the exact type of equipment being purchased. This is understandable because this is the person who knows the needs of the hospital, overall. The CFO might also want to shed light on the financial position of the company and whether there is enough capital to finance the purchase without compromising other processes and activities.
Here are 7 professionals every healthcare facility needs to involve in the purchase of capital equipment:
- The Chief Finance Officer (CFO)
The primary role of the CFO in any purchase is to assure availability of funds for the purchase. In capital purchases, the CFO may also help the hospital to make a decision on whether to lease, lease with a buy-out option, or make an outright purchase.
- Department Head
Typically, the administration will make the final procurement approval based on the needs presented by the department head. This person makes the initial request based on the projected operational needs of the department in support of the overall hospital mission and development plan.
- Director, Materials Management
This is the person tasked with ensuring the creation of suitable Purchase Order(s) (POs) and the submission of the POs to the assigned distributor or the manufacturer.
- Equipment Planner
Equipment specialists can be employees of the manufacturing company or an independent consultant. Their role is to communicate the operational requirements of the equipment item in question. As such, they have to be very familiar with the various equipment needs and requirements. The equipment planner will be involved throughout the purchase process until the equipment is up and running.
- Facilities, Safety and Security Department, Biomedical Department, Environmental Services Department
These professionals are important for the roles they play in ensuring suitability of the equipment and in determining the potential risk posed by the presence of the item in that environment. They help to determine how the arrival of the equipment would impact their various departments.
- Shipping and Receiving Department
It is important to confirm that the item arrived as scheduled and in the desired condition. They need to assure that it is the right equipment with a corresponding PO number and that all the ordered items are received. They need to account for any missing, broken or back-ordered items.
- Designated Receiver
Even after the shipping and receiving department has played their part in confirming the arrival of the item, a special agent identified by the hospital may need to sign off on the delivery and assume official ownership of the item.
When all these professionals are purposefully involved, the purchase process is likely to be smoother and chances of bringing in poor quality or the wrong equipment are minimized.
CME has been delivering medical equipment items for over 30 years and can be a trusted resource for capital equipment procurement functions.