When you’re in the healthcare industry, a lot rests on your shoulders. People rely on your business to stay healthy, happy, and comfortable. Keeping your equipment up-to-date and effective is crucial to keeping both your patients and your business healthy and well.
Medical equipment—including the computers, server infrastructure, and networking equipment that our healthcare customers purchase from us—is a significant investment. Updating it is essential, but so is taking the time to do your research and understand the challenges of making a practical purchase. We’re here to demystify the process and share some best practices for your next medical business purchase. By keeping these five considerations in mind, you’ll be better prepared to make the best choice possible.
1. Quality and Competitive Advantage
The first thing to consider with any purchase, medical equipment included, is what your investment needs to achieve. There are plenty of options in every possible market, from simple, low-tech solutions to high-tech, high-budget items. The question is whether the higher-end products are actually worth the investment.
For example, modern medical imaging equipment has come a long way in just the past few years. However, equipment that is technically no longer “state of the art” is still perfectly functional for many healthcare businesses. If you’re upgrading decades-old equipment, consider whether you need the newest, highest-end equipment or if you can meet your needs with something that doesn’t have Wi-Fi connectivity.
In some cases, getting the newest and most impressive equipment is a smart investment. If your brand has a reputation for staying ahead of the curve on technology, or if you focus on attracting luxury-minded customers, then higher-end products may be worth the cost. Similarly, if you actually need the new features and abilities that top-of-the-line equipment offers, it may be a good choice. In these situations, the investment gives you a competitive advantage that other businesses in your area may not have.
On the other hand, if you just need to replace non-functional equipment, the high-end hardware may be overkill. A small medical practice probably doesn’t need the same technology as a research hospital, and it probably wouldn’t give them a competitive advantage either. Always weigh your potential investment on the return it will net your business.
2. Ease of Use
Computer equipment often takes training to use correctly. But there’s a difference between taking an hour to understand safety and procedures for your new equipment and needing to attend a three-day seminar to avoid breaking anything. When you’re looking for new systems for your business, making sure you choose something easy to use will save you years of stress and potential repairs.
When you’re considering ease of use, you have to consider everyone who may use the equipment. If your healthcare business has a mixture of different medical professionals, the equipment needs to be understandable for all who may use it. If doctors can use the machine easily, but the nurses who will use it more frequently need significant training, then it’s not actually easy to use.
Similarly, if patients use the equipment as a part of their care, it should be just as easy for them to use as it is for their healthcare team. A system that uploads x-rays and test results to an online platform is only useful if your patients can access it easily. If your patients need to call tech support or your office just to learn how to see their results, the entire system isn’t just tricky to use; it’s actually wasting time.
Finally, equipment and systems should save you time in the office, as well. If a new tool or device takes longer to use on a day-to-day basis than your current setup, be sure it provides some significant benefits elsewhere for the change to be worthwhile.
3. Servicing Options and Needs
Equipment breaks down. It’s the nature of physical objects to break and need servicing or repairs to keep working. Software systems need technical support for the same reasons. As a healthcare company, keeping your equipment and systems in good working order is vital to keeping your doors open. That’s why it’s so important to choose programs and equipment that come with reliable, trustworthy servicing agreements.
Equipment purchases often include warranties that outline the terms for repairs or replacements the seller will fulfill. These warranties can vary widely, from decades-long agreements for routine maintenance, emergency servicing, and part replacement to single-year contracts that only cover refunds in the case of a catastrophic failure.
Consider, too, the cost of replacing parts or having an external technician come in to fix your new purchase. More straightforward equipment often leads to simpler, cheaper repairs. Meanwhile, more complicated technology may rack up repair costs and significant downtime while you wait for a repair technician to arrive. If a potential new device costs a little more upfront but can be repaired quickly and easily, it’s likely the better investment.
4. Cost and Budget
Your company has needs for its equipment and devices, but it also has some constraints. While it would be much simpler if you could simply find the best equipment with the longest warranty, you still have a budget to keep in mind. You can consider a couple of ways to see how much you can afford to pay for your new equipment purchase.
First and most straightforward, you can pay for a device upfront. Technology investments are often expensive, but if your company has the tens of thousands of dollars on hand to pay for new hardware in full, then it may be the easiest option. However, many businesses do not keep that amount of cash on hand, or if they do, they want to keep their funds liquid. Draining your entire liquid reserves at once for a single purchase is bad for cash flow.
Instead, you can also consider financing your new purchase. With this strategy, you don’t need to look at the funds you have at the moment. Instead, you can work out the monthly payment your business can afford. Once you have that number in mind, work backward to find the price range your new device should fall into.
5. Financing Options
If you decide to finance the purchase of new technology, then you should consider your financing options. There are as many choices in the healthcare business financing world as there are in medical technology. Finding the right option can help you avoid complicated payment structures, expensive signup fees, and multiple monthly bills.
There’s a new, easy-to-use alternative: Behalf Merchant Cash Advance financing with NeweggBusiness. Unlike traditional financing, Behalf is a flexible, internet Account that allows your business to avoid hidden fees and long wait times.
- Net: Behalf offers Net 30* for Newegg Business purchases.
- Financing to grow your businesses: Medical devices can be expensive, and medical equipment payment options should take that into account. With up to $1 million dollars of business financing available through Behalf, you can confidently make the big purchases your business needs to grow.
- Extend payments: Cash flow in the medical industry can be complicated. With Behalf, you can structure your business’s debit schedule to support healthy cash flow.
- One financing provider for all your purchases: Behalf allows you to keep your business purchases from multiple merchants under the same roof, keeping your finances simpler and your purchases more manageable.
Running your own private practice or healthcare business is hard enough. Take some of the complications out of the process by using Behalf financing with NeweggBusiness to make your medical purchases.
Make the Most of Medical Purchases
As a healthcare professional, you are doing a difficult job and doing it well. Your equipment should make your job easier, not harder. Whether your office simply needs some new computers or you need to replace critical medical devices, it’s worthwhile to do your research.
By considering whether a purchase will offer you a competitive advantage, if it’s easy to use, how you’ll repair it, and how you’ll budget for and finance it, you can make the best decision possible.
* Behalf’s Net is an alternative payment option offered by Select Merchants and allows the Business Customer to pay no financing fees if the Order Request is satisfied in full and in accordance with terms and conditions within 30 days.
** This post is for informational purposes only, not financial advice. Any reference to a website of another party, does not constitute or imply endorsement.