As the manager of a healthcare facility — whether it’s a metropolitan hospital or a regional aged care residence — one of your top responsibilities is ensuring doctors and nurses have access to the medical and surgical supplies they need.
This task requires a unique combination of medical knowledge and logistical experience. It can take a little trial and error before you feel confident ordering and monitoring stock levels. If you’re a novice at this task or are taking on a position at a new facility with different supply demands, read on to learn a little more about the do’s and don’ts of purchasing medical and surgical supplies.
Opt for a one-stop supplier
Where possible, it’s best to use the one supplier for all your medical and surgical needs. This will considerably streamline the process of purchasing supplies from a logistical perspective. Your supplier will understand your unique requirements and can offer tailored advice based on previous purchase orders.
Shopping ‘local’ for medical and surgical supplies doesn’t necessarily mean shopping in-person. Most suppliers, after all, do the majority of their business online. What it does mean is buying supplies from a company with a physical Australian presence.
The medical equipment industry is highly regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Any medical devices or drugs must first be approved by the TGA before they can be marketed and sold in Australia. By buying from a local supplier, you can be confident that your patients are safe and your clinicians have access to equipment of an appropriate quality.
Sacrifice quality for quantity
Medical equipment and supplies can be expensive. Even mass produced consumable supplies, which are generally disposed of after use, can eat into a significant portion of your budget.
However, that doesn’t mean that you should be looking for opportunities to save a few dollars here and there when purchasing supplies. The quality of your medical and surgical products has a direct impact on the quality of patient care you are able to provide. The last thing you want is to be coming in under budget only to find that your clinicians are struggling to diagnose and treat patients based upon your choice in capital equipment and consumable supplies.
Forget about maintenance and service
When purchasing medical equipment, you are not only buying the device itself. You are also investing in service offerings — or at least, you should be given the option.
Buying equipment and supplies from an overseas, online retailer may seem like the cheaper option. However, many of these companies don’t offer appropriate maintenance and repair services. Should something go wrong, you will likely be left to fend for yourself. Even worse, there is no guarantee that spare parts will be available, meaning that your cheaper purchase may actually prove to be more expensive in the long run.
Always consider what type of maintenance and service the supplier is offering before making a purchase.
There’s a lot to learn when it comes to purchasing medical and surgical supplies. You’ll learn by experience but also by working with a trustworthy, professional equipment provider.