Decommissioned medical equipment is part of the equipment life cycle that many facilities find challenging. It is typical for equipment managers to be reactive on deciding what to do with these assets, waiting until after items are taken out of service to choose a method of disposition. However, this means that they are not necessarily making the most advantageous decisions, and equipment often ends up going to storage areas to collect dust.
Why is this the go-to? Time restraints and lack of market knowledge prevent proper asset management. Supply chain leaders often have a heap of responsibilities, so looking into the secondary market for equipment that isn’t actively bringing in revenue falls to the bottom of the pile, especially if it can’t be traded-in or lacks book value. They may not realize that doesn’t mean it can’t bring in returns from the resale market. In fact, more than half of all used equipment still has resale value, even if it’s not functional (it may sell for parts!).
Failing to find the proper avenue for disposition could be costing your organization more than you think. The money coming out of pocket for storing old equipment stacks up, as facilities end up paying more for material handling fees, warehouse labor, rented storage space, and possibly insurance on unusable assets if they’re not taken off the books. Sometimes hospitals use shell areas for storage that could otherwise be used for billable services.
The longer equipment sits in storage, the more it depreciates in value, making it less likely to be resold in the future and continuing the financial drain for years to come. Consider putting into practice a consistent strategy for asset appraisal before items come out of service to determine where the most value is. Why keep paying to store when you could be making money instead?