For healthcare providers, the right technology at a moment's notice could literally save lives.
Modern medicine has come a long way, but the tricks to adopting the latest and greatest healthcare technology haven't changed.
In a perfect world, cost wouldn't matter when the livelihood of sick and injured people was at stake. But in that same world, people also wouldn't die because of a lack of resources.
So before making any large-scale investments – or even smaller investments on a tight budget – be sure to set aside the humanitarian for a second and call in the accountant. The last thing your organization wants is to sacrifice the quality of your current patients' care for the sake of the ideal future.
Knowing what you can afford doesn't mean you have to settle for second-best, either. Companies specializing in healthcare equipment financing can work with hospitals and wellness centers to discover ways these businesses can integrate top-of-the-line machinery without paying out the nose.
"Ask yourself: How thoroughly can this device be cleaned?"
For healthcare providers, it's easy to justify a hefty investment by whitewashing it as helpful to patients. However, manufacturers creating and developing medical technology already use that factor during the building process. Your job as the physician is to consider how particular devices can improve the ways your company specifically helps people.
For example, while a "robotic doctor" may be a worthwhile investment if your health organization wants to improve medical outreach to countries lacking competent care, it may not be perfect for the run-of-the-mill local pediatrician.
When selecting new equipment, be sure to mind the timeline. Many related medical breakthroughs have come before your choice, and many others will surely follow. Don't lock yourself too hard to the "now." Imagine a world in which you've already made your purchase and consider what that device will look like in five years. How about 10?
Sure, it may be hard to predict whether or not a piece of today's technology will work with future innovations. After all, how can an average person know all that with any certainty?
Start by thinking about the broader direction technology is moving in – specifically, "cloudward." Electronic medical records will soon be stored on secure cloud databases in order to facilitate the transfer of a patient's consummate medical information between primary care physician, hospital and any other necessary party. Additionally, this will open up new avenues for devices capable of data analytics.
How does your purchase stack up?
When it comes to health, cleanliness is not only a consideration. It's everything. A small viral outbreak can quickly turn a hospital wing into a quarantine zone. No matter what equipment your organization shops for, ask yourself these questions: How easily and thoroughly can this device be cleaned? How much interaction would a sick patient have with this device?
Recently, ABCNews reported on two endoscopes that spread an antibiotic-immune strain of superbug to several patients, allegedly resulting in two deaths. But the real culprit was a combination of design flaws and improper disinfecting procedures. An endoscope slides down a patient's throat and weaves through a digestive tract, illuminating possible internal issues with a small light and camera. Because this technology involves a complex range of motion, bodily fluids that come in contact with the endoscope could get lodged in a narrow component that might not receive proper attention when cleaned.
Equipment and healthcare industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in healthcare equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.