How to buy medical equipment services

A good repair program starts with daily checks of equipment function and readiness


Wear and tear on EMS assessment, treatment, and transport equipment is to be expected over time especially when call volume is high. However this wear and tear is costly and can be minimized with a maintenance prevention program. Emergency service is also sometimes needed to keep units in the field.

EMS Medical Equipment Service is the category of vendors that provide regular product maintenance as well as on-demand repair for things like transport cots or stair chairs or calibration of assessment equipment like sphygmomanometers.

Remember a good repair program starts with daily checks of equipment function and readiness. During these regular checks, clean and maintain equipment. An important component of daily checks is for crews to mark equipment that needs to be taken out of service and communicate the need for repair to a supervisor or quarter master.

An EMS Medical Equipment Services vendor is available to assist organizations in maintaining and fixing important assessment, treatment and transport equipment. When purchasing medical products consider these things:

1. Tiered service packages with a set price appropriate to your service. Consult with the vendor about a pricing package that is most appropriate to the size of your service relative to call volume, number of stations, and amount of equipment.

2. Talk to current customers of any vendor. Ask references about availability of vendor for scheduled repairs and emergency repairs. Also ask about reliability of vendor to schedule maintenance appointments and complete the services requested.

3. Tracking of service and repairs performed. Data from regular and emergency maintenance can help an agency manager set a replacement purchasing schedule, analyze how equipment problems are impacting service delivery, complain to the original product vendor for repair, or decide to find a new equipment vendor.

4. Membership or association discounts. Some regional, state, and national EMS industry associations have negotiated purchasing agreements for their members with EMS Medical Equipment Service vendors. The Wisconsin EMS Association Group Buying program is a good example.

Finally, ask the vendor about their willingness and ability to give feedback on how to minimize or change practices that are causing equipment breakdown. A maintenance technician may see patterns of use that are the cause of problems. Recognizing and correcting these problems can save your service time and money.

Any other suggestions for purchasing EMS Medical Equipment Services? What vendors serve your agency well? Anything we missed in the list above? Leave a comment below or email products@ems1.com with your feedback.

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