Whether your healthcare facility has a strategy to acquire the most technologically advanced healthcare equipment or you are simply facing a gap in equipment availability, an important consideration is whether to rent or buy medical devices.
There is no singular correct decision, and the right path forward between renting and buying equipment often concerns particular facility needs. To provide you with the best decision-making ability, here are the Medcom Group’s most important things to consider when determining which route of acquiring equipment is more efficient.
Why this Decision Matters
The supply chain and service process of healthcare providers are sensitive to change and often affect the patients they serve. To do their job to the best of their ability, providers need the right equipment to treat patients with highly different situations or conditions. Having the correct equipment means you can treat patients’ unique healthcare challenges, and having the correct amount of equipment means you are neither wasting resources nor lacking your availability or capability. This is a delicate balance that no healthcare provider or patient can afford to suffer should it not be optimally constructed.
Therefore, a critical consideration must be the overall efficiency of acquiring equipment. Inefficiencies won’t just harm the healthcare provider. Extra costs through inefficiency are often passed along to the patient, and the danger of not having exactly what they need. Providers must then ask themselves: what is the optimal path to ensure medical devices patients need are on hand while operating in the most financially effective way possible?
Considerations as a Healthcare Provider
When deciding whether to rent or purchase medical equipment, healthcare providers should consider the following:
Number of Patients
Judging how much medical equipment you need requires knowing how many patients the healthcare facility typically has. It’s also important to evaluate whether there is potential for a surge of patients and if the facility can operate without strain.
Type of Patients
The type of patients will also affect whether renting or purchasing equipment is more efficient. Do you specialize in treating only specific health challenges, or are you a facility that accepts and treats patients with any type of condition? Which health subdisciplines does your facility cater most to, and does that subsector require continually updated and advanced equipment?
Short vs. Long-Term Financial Outlook
What is the financial outlook of the healthcare facility? Knowing the financial capability and needs of the facility will be a primary consideration when determining whether renting or purchasing equipment is more efficient.
Benefits of Renting
Short Term Expenditures
When renting medical equipment, short-term expenditures will undoubtedly be lower than purchasing equipment outright. Suppose a specific type of equipment is not generally required in your healthcare facility or will only be needed for a short duration. In that case, renting allows you to get what you need only when needed without incurring a much higher overall cost of owning the device. Facilities will also not need to incur the extra expenditures of purchasing extended warranties on purchased equipment.
Easily Acquire Advanced Technology
Medical technology advances and develops yearly as new research is produced, efficiencies and improvements are found, and costs are reduced. By renting medical equipment, a facility can ensure they always have the best available to give their patients the highest quality care.
The challenges patients face are never precisely the same. Switching out medical equipment to meet the specialized requirements of any individual is most cost-effective when renting. Similarly, should the number of patients fluctuate constantly, it is more efficient to rent equipment in a scalable way following a facility’s capacity needs.
Benefits of Buying
Long Term Expenditures
Continually renting equipment or a particular piece of equipment for long periods can become extremely expensive. In this situation, weighing the financial costs over the expected rental duration along with successive rentals is essential. In many cases, especially for commonly needed equipment, buying the medical device is more long-term cost-efficient than renting.
Immediate Access to Equipment
Suppose a patient comes into the healthcare facility needing immediate help. In that case, the last thing anyone needs is to delay helping the patient while the facility waits for their equipment rental. By purchasing equipment, a provider will have immediate access to their equipment and will not need to rely on outside factors such as an equipment provider and shipping company.
Purchasing equipment allows healthcare providers to gain experience with the specific technology they own. Medical devices can all vary depending on the manufacturer, so owning a specific piece of equipment will ensure the staff are highly experienced with no need for continual training and learning.
Avoid Leasing Challenges
Some rental equipment comes with leasing terms and conditions. By purchasing the equipment, there’s no need to worry about how rental agreements work and whether you or a patient will violate it in any way. Furthermore, facilities can ensure their patients' privacy (especially with data) by owning all the equipment they use in procedures and healthcare.
The Bottom Line
Efficiency in renting vs buying equipment is critical for the quality of care providers can offer. Not only do renting and purchasing decisions affect how a facility can carry out its practice, but they can also significantly affect the patients they serve.
All healthcare providers are different and serve different needs of their patients, so there is never one straight answer regarding whether renting or purchasing medical devices is more efficient. Understand the variables that differ between renting and buying, know the needs of your patients and facility, and make the most informed decision possible.
We are here to help! If you have questions about the medical equipment renting and buying process, contact the experts at Medcom Group today.