A health facility is all about precision, not just in their functionality in delivering proficient patient care but also in planning its equipment procurement to aid in the process. Though all pre-planning demands some meticulous perusal and assessment of requirements, effective equipment procurement in limited resources is definitely the trickiest of the lot.
Optimising available resources is perhaps the best scope for equipment procurement for small health facility to be adequate. Further, going from an empty facility, to well-equipped and ready to provide dependable health care, rather hi-tech advanced health care facility also requires adding good amount of coherence and value to the procurement procedure.
The drafting of requirements is certainly the first thing to do in the procurement process, however, understanding the patient care intended and clinical set-up needed to facilitate it is where the procurement process begins. The insight from fully-functional healthcare institutions serves the basis for refining the requisition process for better opportunities tending to cost-cutting, elevate efficiency and maximise patient health outcomes.
The process of equipment procurement for small health facility is seldom repetitive within a short span of time unlike in large-capacity healthcare institutions, and requires balancing sticking to the protocol and implementing smart apprises in the procurement process itself; the assessment for required equipment runs simultaneously, and proceeds with leveraging on technology for information flow according to immediate and on-going requisition. The electronic requisition process (ERP) has been able to simplify and expedite the procurement process. Nonetheless, a more streamlined selection of appropriate and preferably multi-purpose equipment manually thereafter is desirable to suit the small-medium size healthcare, especially if it’s an upcoming healthcare set-up.
Ways to improve effective equipment procurement in limited resources
Leveraging electronic process of assessment for requisition saves time and the approval process moved online prevents lagging of the process which might interrupt the patient care activities. This can be facilitated by implementing ERP for procurement list, removing multi-point approval and reducing huge volume of paperwork to bare minimum; when any department raises the requirement the department head or person responsible for approval get notified immediately, who can shortly access and approve it on system.
Budgeting alone is insufficient in equipment procurement for small health facility to fight the pecuniary constraints; smart financing options can help optimise the buying power. Loans though incurs interest, it does not exhaust the whole working capital, which is imperative in an organisation’s proper functioning. Also, several intermediate collaborator services like ZEPNURhealth increase cumulative buying power of small to medium size healthcare institutions.
Refine section of equipment by opting for multipurpose variety wherever possible, as it ensures that competent health care is achieved. It’s relevant to both upcoming new set-ups as well as existing ones; while the benefits for the former is mostly cost-effectiveness, the multipurpose functioning enables use of the equipment for much longer when upgraded models are available, by serving any of its functions which perhaps doesn’t have an upgrade yet… thereby optimising the utility of the resources.
A working demo before buying any band new equipment which has not been used before in the institute is worthwhile, especially in case of multi-purpose big equipment. Also, considering the complex process of operation of health care equipment the demo provides a basis for insight into its operation and surely, some arrangements for training in troubleshooting along with is also necessary means to ensure smooth functioning for the tech-aided equipment.
Equipment with warranty and good maintenance services definitely adds value to the effective equipment procurement in limited resources. In fact, it’s even prudent to extend the warranty with a nominal pay after the initial warranty period if that can be arranged. Maintenance option comes handy as the equipment sets in a healthcare facility need to be periodically assessed and kept up-to-date in terms of their functioning.
Shortlisting suppliers/vendors not just based on pricing but also market reputation and feedback from other clients is a real life-saver; both literally and metaphorically. The loss in terms of efficiency of a health care set-up when there’s much wait-it-out period for the tenders from several as well as the chances of being supplied with second-rate equipment within the lot is eliminated if only a copious amount of market research precedes the actual shortlisting.
Collaboration with an equipment procurement planner is one stop solution, it helps reduce process drag, which otherwise makes it almost impossible to keep up with timelines and cause repetitive work-flow interruptions; which is collateral damage in terms of reputation and value for any healthcare institution. It’s a smart move towards effective equipment procurement in limited resources as even with ERP the manual work background research, corresponding with variety of vendors, sync up different delivery schedules etc. are pretty cumbersome for a small-mid size facility with limited workforce.