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Medical Equipment Planning and Group 1 Medical Equipment

By CME Corp Staff | January 31, 2024

It is no secret the medical equipment sales process can be long and complex. Planning equipment purchases for timely delivery is important for healthcare facilities, like hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers, who work to maintain high quality patient care.

But what about planning capital medical equipment purchases for new hospital construction or renovation projects? When should discussions around medical equipment begin?

This article will offer insight into medical equipment planning for hospital construction projects by exploring:

The Importance of Medical Equipment Planning

Medical equipment planners recommend creating a comprehensive list of required medical equipment during the design and development phase of the hospital construction or renovation project. On the surface it may seem to be too early to think about medical equipment, the ground has not even been broken to start the project. But scratch the surface of the hospital construction process and it becomes apparent that identifying required medical equipment and beginning the procurement process must be done early. For example, medical equipment that needs,

  • specially designed structural support,
  • protection from vibrations or radiation from other medical equipment
  • specialty power, data connections, water hookups, or
  • extra space for ventilation or equipment add-ons

should be determined early in the planning process so the specifications can be incorporated into architectural drawings. Any changes in the placement of equipment (even an inch to the right or left) or a change in the size of the equipment must be communicated to the architect so the drawings can be modified.

Some states, California for example, require all modifications to architectural drawings to be reviewed and approved. This process can take up to a year to complete … each time the drawing in resubmitted.

Creating a comprehensive medical equipment list early ensures that details like alcoves for crash cart storage or enough space around an MRI to accommodate replacing the magnets, are in the architectural drawings from the beginning.

How Medical Equipment Planners Group Medical Equipment

Medical equipment planners’ group medical equipment identified during the design and development phase to help coordinate procurement and delivery with the construction schedule. The following groups have been informally adopted by medical equipment planners:

  • Group 1: Fixed to the facility: Requires utility connections.
  • Group 2: Moveable equipment with utility requirements.
  • Group 3: Mobile equipment: no significant construction impact.
  • Group 4: Instruments
  • Group 5: Furniture
  • Group 6: IT, Computers, Printers for business processing
  • Group 7: Technology, Security, Nurse Call, and AV

For the remainder of this article, we will discuss Group 1 medical equipment.

Group 1 Medical Equipment Defined

Group 1 medical equipment is defined as equipment that is attached to the physical structure or utility services in such a way that to install, relocate, or remove the equipment later would require structural modifications.

Anything mounted or that attaches behind a wall, under the floor, or on the ceiling is considered Group 1 medical equipment. Space requirements and utility connections for this equipment are included in architectural drawings to ensure the area is prepared for the later installation of the medical equipment by the contractor or in some cases, the vendor.

By its nature, group 1 medical equipment should be the first equipment sourced and ordered. Although this equipment may not be physically installed until later in the project it is best practice to place orders with medical equipment distributors or vendors early and store the equipment in offsite warehouses to ensure availability for scheduled installation.

Checklist of Common Group 1 Medical Equipment

Although not exhaustive, here is a representative list of medical equipment commonly defined as Group 1 by medical equipment planners.

Casework for patient rooms, laboratories, and pharmacies.

This casework will not be installed until construction is all but complete, but structural support and appropriately sized spaces are constructed by the contractor in preparation for the installation.

OR Time Clocks

Like casework, the actual clocks will not be installed until the end of the project, but the mounting and wiring is roughed in as walls are constructed.

Lab Fume Hoods

Structural supports and ventilation connections for hoods are also roughed in during construction in preparation for vendor installation of the hood.

Scrub Sinks

Contractors install the sink carriers and rough in plumbing connections in preparation for the installation of the scrub sink.

Mounted equipment

Any equipment that is mounted on ceiling tracks or booms are defined as Group 1 This includes:

  • Surgical lights
  • Radiology equipment
  • Some types of endoscopy equipment
  • Patient Lifts
  • Curtain Tracks
  • Some lasers
  • Semi-recessed dispensers

Equipment requiring hard connection to plumbing systems:

Equipment requiring hard connections to plumbing systems is classified as Group 1. Some examples of this equipment are:

  • Ventilator equipment – medical gas systems
  • Anesthesia equipment medical gas systems
  • Some surgical tools – medical gas systems
  • Operating tables/Autopsy tables – biohazard waste management systems
  • Large Autoclaves – water supply and drainage
  • Radiology/Imaging equipment – chilled water systems
  • Endoscopy units – water supply and drainage systems
  • Dialysis machines – water filtration systems

It is important the vendors, contractors, and equipment planners remain in communication to ensure the equipment connections match flow meters and suction regulators.

Equipment requiring hard connections to electrical systems and/or cabling systems:

  • Patient monitors
  • EHR Systems
  • Nurse Call
  • Infusion pumps
  • Smart IV pumps
  • Surgical Robots
  • In-floor scales for the ER

Laboratory equipment is another example of Group 1 medical equipment requiring hard connections to mechanical systems. This equipment includes:

Properly identifying Group 1 medical equipment early in the planning process is important for setting in motion a “well oiled” hospital construction project. Choosing the right medical equipment distributor is essential.

Partnering with CME Corp. for Group 1 Medical Equipment

CME experts can work with your medical equipment planners, coordinators or consultants and manufacturers account representatives to help source Group 1 Medical Equipment. We are also uniquely positioned as the only medical equipment distributor able to support the entire procurement process with a team of dedicated Project Managers (PM). From purchase order to invoicing, your CME PMs is the single point of contact for everything related to your project.

Using our proprietary CME360 Project Management Hub CME project managers consolidate purchase orders to help contain hidden costs and scheduling issues associated with multiple orders. CME PMs track orders to ensure all items have been purchased and delivered to our warehouses for storage until delivery to the new hospital site.

Our Direct-To-Site service teams take it from there and can receive, inspect, assemble (if needed), and deliver medical equipment as scheduled based on the timeline established by the construction company. If during the inspection at our warehouse we identify items that are damaged or defective in any way we will work with the manufacturer to secure a timely replacement.

In addition to procurement project management and Direct-to-Site services CME is also a reliable source for biomedical services.

CME Biomedical Equipment Technicians are available to compliment in-house resources with biomedical startup services required for large construction or renovation projects. CME start up biomed services guarantee that every device is tested and ready for service.

Our BMETs can also work with your facility to establish equipment maintenance plans aimed at ensuring the reliability of medical equipment, compliance with regulations, and extending the service life of the equipment.

Click CHAT to begin a conversation with a CME expert about how we can support your hospital construction or renovation project.


About CME: With two corporate offices and 35+ service centers, CME Corp is the nation’s only equipment focused medical equipment distributer. We are the premier source for more than 2 million healthcare equipment products, from more than 2,000 manufacturers.

Our Turnkey logistics and biomedical services allow us to help healthcare facilities nationwide reduce the cost of the equipment they purchase, make their equipment selection, and schedule delivery, installation, and maintenance without impacting patient care. From medical equipment purchases to renovations and new facility construction CME Corp is your partner for seamless capital medical equipment purchases, delivered on time and in budget.

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