The Veterans Health Administration operates under government oversight to serve one of the world's largest healthcare populations. The group currently operates 152 hospitals, 800 outpatient clinics, 126 nursing home units, and 35 domiciliaries.
These facilities serve a large population of veterans and service personnel, and many of them are over 60 years old. The need for new and updated VA facilities has prompted multiple medical construction projects.
New Facilities Experiencing Cost Overreach
With new construction not just desirable, but necessary, facilities are struggling to find funding and stay on budget. In 2013, the VA's four largest medical construction projects were analyzed by the government and found to experience significant cost increases and extensive construction delays. These delays, costing nearly $1.5 billion have prompted action. The House of Representatives introduced H.R. 3106, the Construction Reformation Act of 2015, an attempt to avoid these types of cost overruns in the future.
In addition to upcoming legislation, there are many steps facilities can take on their own to reduce costs and speed up new facility opening deadlines, including VA hospital equipment procurement.
Improving Equipment Delivery and Setup to Assist Opening
Mismanaged equipment delivery and setup can lead to additional cost overruns and delays. An operating room can't open without a table and other related equipment, a rehab clinic can't open without exercise equipment, and so on.
New construction poses challenges that existing facilities don't have to worry about. With proper planning and service setup, you can streamline your timeline for VA hospital equipment procurement, delivery and setup. Some areas to consider in your facility planning activities include:
- Procurement & Tracking - Purchases of various types of equipment items from different suppliers with multiple contacts increases the potential for hold ups, slip ups, back-orders and delays. What is needed is a good tracking system to ensure the order has been received, the products have been shipped and are being delivered in a timely fashion.
- Delivery Location - Be sure that your doors are big enough to accommodate new machines and equipment, and there is adequate parking and a loading area available for larger trucks and trailers.
- Site Assembly & Cleanup - Make sure you have dedicated and qualified staff to assemble the equipment. Some equipment may need to be calibrated. Is someone designated to clean up after unpacking and setup?
- Receiving & Inventory Management - Your new facility needs to have a system in place for inventory management and tracking. Is there a staff member available to be responsible for this process?
- Satellite Facilities - Satellite facilities often have goods and equipment shipped as part of a larger shipment to the affiliated hospital. Will these locations have receiving capabilities like the affiliated hospital, or will different delivery vehicles be required?
All of these concerns can lead to significant delays in your facility opening, which can then lead to significant cost overages. You can prevent the occurrence of these delays by consulting with medical equipment professionals like CME.
CME equipment specialists are trained to navigate the VA hospital procurement and delivery process, can provide the verification of purchasing, tracking of shipping, warehousing, equipment staging, and delivery to sites with various receiving accommodations. We can also provide Direct-to-Site delivery, which includes setting up the equipment and removing the shipping materials.
Claflin Medical Equipment has provided equipment and services to government agencies, including the VA since 1976 and holds a Small Business, FSS/GSA med/surg contract V797D-40279 on schedule 65IIA.
Contact us for more information on how we can help you properly manage your VA Hospital medical equipment procurement, delivery and set up.
With two corporate offices and 35+ service centers, our mission is to help healthcare facilities nationwide reduce the cost of the equipment they purchase, make their equipment specification, delivery, installation, and maintenance processes more efficient, and help them seamlessly launch, renovate and expand on schedule.