Selection and Procurement of Medical Equipment


We have experienced that medical equipment is one of the major causes for change orders in projects. Why? Generally, decisions on the selection of medical equipment are made late in the design or even construction phases of a project. Decisions are often pushed out for very good reasons, but the net result is changes to the bid documents which create additional design and construction costs. Here is some advice to potentially reduce the risk of change orders and undue stress caused by medical equipment.

  1. Hire a medical equipment planner at the same time an architect is hired.
  2. Coordinate the scope of services between the architect and medical equipment planner.
  3. Have an inventory performed for the existing medical equipment that you intend to reuse.
  4. Create a medical equipment budget early in the process and then continually update it.
  5. Make sure that medical equipment planning is done in parallel with the schematic and design development phases.
  6. Include the medical equipment drawings and specifications with the overall bid package for contractors so they know the specification for equipment and can estimate accordingly.
  7. Develop a schedule for medical equipment planning, selection, procurement, delivery and installation.
  8. Establish realistic decision milestones in your schedule and stick to them.
  9. For major fixed medical equipment, either make selection decisions during the Design Development Phase or make proper accommodations in the bid package to provide for the future flexibility of the space when a selection decision is made.
  10. Determine early on who is accountable for the procurement management of medical equipment. If the decision is to utilize internal staff for procurement, depending on the size of the project, confirm you have adequate resources to handle this additional workload.
  11. Medical equipment representatives will typically only provide site specific design drawings for the architect and engineer after they have received a purchase order. This generally has a tendency to slow the process down.
  12. The route of access for equipment delivery, and in some cases the structural capacity, must be considered in the selection and design process.
  13. When procuring new or reused equipment, never assume the room size/configuration, access, mechanical and electrical is adequate. It is a good practice to have design professionals review the architectural and engineering aspects before committing to the equipment.
  14. Timing and coordination of the installation must be worked out with the contractor well in advance.

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