Many hospitals tend to be reactive around decisions associated with reselling decommissioned assets. This mindset starts at the replacement budget process and runs through the time when a piece of equipment is decommissioned and removed from service.
A facility will sell surplus equipment for different reasons: the equipment has been replaced by newer technology, the hospital is standardizing their medical devices between multiple facilities, the hospital may no longer offer clinical services the equipment was intended for, storage areas need to be cleared for clinical use, etc. Too often, hospitals allow multiple departments to handle their own surplus sales and fail to have a proactive plan in place that accounts for all decommissioned assets. The most effective resale efforts are streamlined through a single department within the facility and have a policy/procedure in place that dictate the best course of direction when an asset is pulled from service.
It is common for hospitals to have Purchasing handle the resale of capital equipment change-outs and have the Biomed staff handle the resale for the equipment in storage for a period of time. Each department may use different processes to sell equipment. One department may notify each sister facility prior to resale to see if re-utilization is an option, the other department may not. A department may have a plan for equipment that does not sell, whereas the other department may not know how to dispose of equipment with no resale value. Streamlining the resale process to a single department will allow all parties to collaborate and utilize strategies that offer the best course of direction for each circumstance associated with the where and why equipment is being removed from service.
When a process is being developed, it’s important to look at the complete lifecycle of a device and build a plan of attack that addresses the decision making process before an asset is decommissioned. This involves identifying the parties/departments that will be involved, where allocation of funds generated from the sale will reside and having the best information at your fingertips to make an informed decision once equipment is removed from service, i.e. trade-in, redeploy, resell, donate or salvage etc.
Hospitals will benefit in the long run from creating a resale process. Some benefits include: all departments are on the same page, increased potential for trade-ins, minimizing storage space while increasing returns on investment and maximizing efficiencies for the departments that will oversee the resale process. Does your facility have a resale process?
How to track equipment that stays and goes…
In order to keep proper records of your capital equipment, your facility should
have a system in place for checks and balances. Setting up a spreadsheet
tracking system for both your Materials Management Department and Biomedical
Engineering will help both departments track incoming new assets and equipment
removed from the property.
Below is an example of some of the fields that should be considered when tracking your
- Manufacturer / Make
- Asset type
- Model number
- Serial Number
- Internal tag number if available
- Building Location / Campus / Department
- Room number / suite number
When developing your asset tracking system, it is best if your spreadsheet contains unique fields for each demographic captured on the asset. Some asset software packages capture multiple identifiers and places them into one field inhibiting the ability to sort information properly. Accurately identifying the equipment and location can save a lot of future headaches when it comes time for a facility inventory or a reconciliation of your general