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When to Repair vs. Purchase a New Medical Device Cart?

By Team Altus
Published Aug 12, 2020 | Updated Feb 16, 2022 | 6 min read

In the healthcare industry, new technology is constantly evolving. Medical device carts (both powered and non-powered) are found in every medical facility, and it can be difficult to determine if you can get away with repairs for your equipment or if you should purchase a new medical device cart. What option is going to be more cost-effective, allow for greater efficiency, and give both workers and patients a better experience? When considering medical device cart repairs or a new purchase entirely, there isn’t necessarily a black and white answer. Below, we’ve posted some questions you can think through to help you determine if your medical device carts should be repaired or if you should start fresh with brand new equipment.

Is the Product Outdated?

This is one of the easiest ways to determine if it’s time to simply purchase a new medical device cart. If your cart is an older model, there’s a possibility that it can’t be repaired because the manufacturer doesn’t make parts for that device anymore. And if your cart has been around for some time, it’s also probable that newer, better technologies have been introduced that make your old cart obsolete. Save the hassle of trying to find replacement parts and services for your old cart and invest in a newer, better medical device cart. It’s likely that your new equipment will perform better and make your patient care more efficient and of a higher quality.

Does Your Cart Pose an IT Problem?

Older medical device carts, though they might function perfectly fine as an isolated unit, might not be compatible with other newer carts and the software or IT capabilities of your facility. It’s crucial that all of your carts function in synch, and if an older cart doesn’t work with the rest of your equipment, it might be best to forego repairs and purchase a new cart that utilizes upgraded tech.

Do You Have a Service Contract?

If you’re outsourcing repairs, do you have a service contract with your maintenance company? If you do, considering repairs over a brand-new purchase is wise. You’re already investing in these services, so unless it poses a real problem for productivity or safety, see if repairs can be made before looking at new carts.

Is There a Threat to Patient or Provider Safety?

The number one goal in any healthcare setting is safety. When you’re trying to determine if medical cart repair is the best option or if you need to start fresh with new equipment, ask if there are any safety issues that might arise if you choose the repair route. If so, then obviously scratch the repairs and purchase new equipment.

How Would Employees Be Affected by Repairs Versus A New Purchase

In healthcare, time spent on repairs is linked directly to patient care, efficiency, and money. If your medical device carts can be repaired, but the time it will take to do so is going to severely impact your employees’ productivity and level of care for your patients, investing in a new cart is the best option.

Is Old Equipment Costing You Money?

Are you sending in old medical device carts to be repaired or serviced on a regular basis? This can cost you money not only in repair fees, but you incur a loss when you’re short on equipment. Additionally, newer equipment generally costs less to operate on a day-to-day basis. Whether due to energy efficiency or time efficiency, newer medical device carts get the job done faster—and usually better and with less work on your part—than older equipment.

New Carts Make a Statement

When you invest in new carts, you’re investing in your employees’ well-being, the quality of their work environment, and yes, even the professionalism of your healthcare practice. A simple way to show your employees that you care about them is to provide them with equipment that makes their work easier. If workers are lugging around heavy, outdated medical device carts, they’re expending more physical and mental energy than necessary to do their jobs well. By investing in new carts, you’re not only providing them with equipment that’s likely physically easier to maneuver, you’re also giving them updated equipment that allows them to complete tasks faster and more effectively than before.

Additionally, old, squeaky, clunky carts don’t present the same image of professionalism that new carts do. If you’re on the fence about repairs versus purchasing a new cart, opt for the new cart. Your employees will feel valued and your patients will sense that you’re investing back into your practice, giving them confidence in your care.

Preventative Maintenance

The best way to address the question of “repair or buy something new” is to avoid it altogether. That is, practice preventative maintenance and cleaning on your medical device carts. In a healthcare system where you’re dealing with dozens of device carts—or more—preventative care can help you save both time and money.

When your carts either break or need to be replaced, you’re going to be one device short while the problem is addressed. Instead of waiting for repairs to take place or for a new device cart to be ordered, shipped, then readied for use, you’ll be better off sending your cart to your IT or maintenance department for routine maintenance and fine-tuning, software updates, etc.

Conclusion: What’s the Right Answer?

As you can see, there isn’t one. When it comes to your medical device carts, there are a lot of factors to consider when you’re trying to determine if repairs will suffice or if you need to get rid of the old equipment and bring in something new. At the end of the day, you should account for cost, safety, and efficiency to help you decide if new medical device carts will best serve your patients and your practice.

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