The Pros and Cons of Used and Refurbished Medical Equipment

Whether you are a large established hospital facility, a small start-up clinic, or a private practice, medical equipment is the staple of your business. It is important that it be reliable and cutting edge. For this reason, many medical hospitals, practices, and clinics think that it’s necessary to buy brand new equipment with a complete warranty, replacement, and maintenance program. However, in these belt-tightening times, used and refurbished medical equipment is becoming increasingly popular as a way to economize. But how do you do that without sacrificing dependability? Read on to learn the pros and cons of buying used and refurbished medical equipment.

1. You Save a Lot of Money

First and foremost, whenever you buy used and refurbished medical equipment, you are going to pay a fraction of the cost of brand new equipment. It’s just that simple. Think of buying new equipment just as you would think of buying a brand new car. Just as with a late model car, where the depreciation begins the moment you drive the vehicle off the lot, the same is true of new medical equipment. If you have budget concerns--and who doesn’t--you definitely want to consider purchasing used or refurbished medical equipment.

2. Be Careful or You Could Get a Lemon

As with any large purchase, you want to thoroughly research vendors and make sure that you have found a reputable supplier. Ask for referrals, compare prices, and look for vendors that offer certified pre-owned equipment, with a multi-point inspection, parts replacement, and warranties. While not all used equipment will have a warranty, you should inquire about what sort of guarantee will come with the machinery.

3. You Can Choose the Level of Refurbishment

Most medical equipment companies that offer used and refurbished equipment will offer several levels of refurbishment. As mentioned above, the top of the line in used machinery is certified pre-owned equipment that is thoroughly inspected, with parts tested and replaced, and cosmetic refurbishment. The equipment is virtually new, restored to the original manufacturer condition, and usually comes with a warranty and guaranteed parts replacement if a part fails. From there, the equipment goes through various levels of testing and refurbishment. If you are looking to save even more money, you can get machinery that is refurbished mechanically, but not cosmetically. (This is better when the equipment is in a low trafficked location. New looking equipment inspires confidence; by the same token, equipment that appears dated can raise questions about facility resources and expertise.) Often, vendors have many types of used equipment, and you can choose based on price, age, and level of restoration.

4. What About the Warranty?

Normally, certified equipment will come with a several month warranty, while machinery with lower levels of refurbishment are less likely to have warranties. However, be sure to inquire whether the vendor you are considering offers any sort of guarantee on its equipment.  Ask as well if spare parts are kept in reserve for several years, if loaner machinery is available in the event that equipment fails and must be repaired, and inquire about maintenance programs.

5. You May Need to Replace Equipment Sooner

While very high quality used machinery is absolutely available, it is nonetheless still used. With that in mind you may have to replace it more often than new equipment, unless it is certified pre-owned. Of course, the lifespan of equipment is a relative matter, several to a dozen years or more versus a couple of decades. If you run the numbers, however, you will more than likely discover that the savings on equipment that needs to be replaced a little sooner is well worth it.

6. You Can Afford Cutting-Edge Machinery

Patients have come to expect their healthcare providers to have the latest in medical equipment. Whether you are a large hospital facility or small clinic or practice, the expectation is the same, and if you don’t have the most up-to-date equipment, it can impact your reputation and the number of patients that you attract. When you purchase used or refurbished equipment, you often have access to these newer technologies for just a small portion of the original price.

For the very best in used and refurbished equipment, check out Absolute Medical Equipment.  

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