The logistics of scheduling delivery of new capital equipment can be challenging and should be carefully considered with any purchase. The time and expense of procuring the equipment can be daunting, but if you don’t plan the delivery properly, you may cause unnecessary costs for an already expensive venture.
Keep in mind the following three things as you schedule the delivery of your capital equipment purchase.
1. Timing of the delivery should be done before or after hours if possible to minimize interfering with patient care.
While a single delivery of a small item might be easily handled during normal business hours, it’s dangerous to let that be the norm for deliveries. You shouldn’t risk having items being delivered through a waiting room full of patients, or a delivery taking the attention of staff that should be focusing on patients. The best scenario is to schedule the deliveries outside of working hours, but if that’s not possible, at least schedule them during a known slow time.
2. Be clear on the receiving requirements and ensure instructions are included in the delivery plan.
The details of what’s expected should be clear as part of the scheduling. Identify each location for delivery and the requirements for that location. Is there a receiving dock or are items to be brought in through the front entrance? Will the items be taken into or near a clean area? If so, will the proper protocols be in place for receiving the equipment?
If the equipment is being delivered to a warehouse and not to the facility, what is the plan for getting it installed properly at the facility? Does the delivery include uncrating, installation, and removal of shipping materials? Will the old equipment that is being disposed be handled at the same time? By being clear in the delivery instructions, you can help ensure that the equipment will be usable as soon as possible.
3. Ensure that all needed parties will be available at time of receiving.
Depending on the size, value, and type of equipment, several people may need to be alerted to be available when receiving. The receiving department will either need to have a staff member on hand, or provide clear instructions and permissions for someone else to receive it. If your safety and security staff have special requirements for deliveries, they may need to be informed and possibly present for the delivery.
A member of the biomedical team may need to examine and approve the install and the use of electrical connections. An official agent of the hospital may need to be on hand to accept the delivery and to sign off on its completion. If the purchase is part of a large project, the project manager may need to be available. Ensuring that all departments are alerted to the delivery will help ensure that the right people will be available.
A capital equipment purchase requires careful research and analysis while being procured. The same care and attention should be applied to the delivery of the equipment. While small purchases can be easily handled by internal staff, you may want to enlist the help of equipment planners during the purchasing and delivery of large equipment or deliveries with multiple pieces. Planning ahead will enable proper timing, procedures, and acceptance of the equipment.
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