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Things to Look for When Refurbishing Used Medical Equipment

October 29, 2020

Refurbishing used medical equipment is a great way to save money, but which company you use for the refurbishment process will make a big difference. That’s because refurbishment companies offer different things as part of their refurbishment process. So, you want to pick the most efficient and cost-effective refurbishment company to get the most out of your money.

Below we have listed some things to think about when you approach a refurbishment company. These things will help you identify which company has high-quality refurbishment processes, and hopefully, our list will make choosing a refurbishment company more straightforward.

Documentation

Does the refurbishment company provide documented information about the refurbishment process?

It would be best to know what the company offers in its refurbishment process. That’s why you should ask them for documentation. This will help you understand what steps they take to refurbish the medical equipment.

Companies can provide paper documents, videos, or an article to let you know about their refurbishment process.

Having access to this information will allow you to make a well-informed decision about whether or not you want to go ahead with the company.

ISO certification

Does the company offer an ISO certified refurbishment process?

The ISO standards are a framework that explains how to maintain high quality. If a company is ISO certified, it will verify that the company has risk management systems and high-quality processes.

Companies may say they are ISO certified, but it is essential to know which ISO standards they comply with, ISO 9001:2015 or ISO 13485:2016?

ISO 9001 concerns generic things like cleaning products, construction, logistics, etc. Whereas, ISO 13485 is a framework for medical devices specifically, and so has added requirements to be fulfilled.

Check out the infographic by Agiliti that helps to distinguish ISO 9001 and ISO 13485.

HIPAA compliance

Does the refurbishment company comply with HIPAA?

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) is a law that maintains privacy and protects patient information. This act states that owners must remove all patient data from the medical equipment before passing it onto the new owner.

The refurbishment company might remove the patient information for you as part of the refurbishment process. However, you must confirm whether this is a part of their refurbishment process or not.

If the patient records remain on the medical equipment, you’ll get into big trouble - You can expect fines and jail time for breaching HIPPA.

The decontamination process

What does the decontamination process entail?

As the medical equipment is used, it’s obvious that wear and tear will happen over time.

It would help to find out whether the refurbishment company decontaminates the medical equipment externally and internally.

It’s essential to decontaminate the medical equipment internally because dust residues can build up. This could become a problem later down the line if it interferes with the internal parts.

Warranty

Does the refurbished medical equipment come with a warranty?

It would be best to find out whether the company offers a warranty for the refurbished medical equipment. Refurbishment companies often provide a warranty for a year, but they might not provide any warranty at all.

A warranty is essential because it will cover the repairs or replacement if the medical equipment becomes faulty.

Keep in mind that each company will include different things in their warranty - so read the warranty information thoroughly!

If your refurbished medical equipment breaks down, the warranty will be your safety net and will help you avoid extra costs.

Finance options

Does the refurbishment company offer financing options?

It’s important to know whether you have the right budget for the refurbishment. Can you pay outright? If not, does the company offer flexible payment plans?

Many companies offer financing options like monthly payment plans, but you’ll need to ask the company whether they have this option or not.

If the refurbishment company has financing options, you can plan for the expense and go ahead with the refurbishment.

Tracking the service

Is there a system in place that gives you updates throughout the refurbishment process?

Ask the company if they have a system in place to provide you with regular updates as the refurbishment process happens.

The worst thing that can happen is being left in the dark and not knowing what’s happening with your medical equipment.

Some companies might use tracking software or use an actual person like a project leader to give regular updates during the refurbishment process.

Either way, it’s good to know what options they have available.

Deinstallation and installation

Are deinstallation and installation included?

Some companies may offer to deinstall your medical equipment, transport it to their facility, and reinstall the medical equipment after the refurbishment process.

Having the refurbishment company take care of the deinstallation, transport, and reinstallation process would remove the hassle, making the refurbishment process much smoother.

It would be good to ask the refurbishment company about it. If they don’t provide this service, then you will need to find a way to arrange deinstallation, transportation, and reinstallation yourself.

To top it off, you’d need to calculate the costs involved so you can include this expense in the budget too.  

Certificate after completion

Will the company provide a certificate to show the medical equipment has successfully undergone refurbishment?

It’s essential to check whether the medical equipment has successfully been refurbished.

The refurbishment process aims to upgrade your used medical equipment so that it’s working at the most optimum level.

You can check whether your medical equipment has been successfully refurbished if the company provides you with a certificate.

The certificate will show if the medical equipment reaches the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) standards. If your medical equipment meets the OEM standards, then it has been successfully refurbished.