Equipment sharing: Is your Healthcare organization missing out on this cost-saving and revenue-generating idea?

Typically, “cost-saving” and “revenue-generating” aren’t uttered in the same breath. But, when equipment sharing is done right, that’s exactly the benefit to healthcare organizations.

Some industry reports peg equipment utilization as low as 40 percent. A large part of the problem is that medical equipment like specialty operating room tables, surgical lasers, and instrumentation trays are too often viewed as fixed assets that belong to a specific facility, hospital wing or even an operating room, instead of an asset of the whole system.

We’ve worked with healthcare leaders who want to find ways to share equipment across their growing networks of facilities, instead of having those valuable assets sitting around underused. Those leaders understand that in this environment of lower reimbursement, equipment sharing increases utilization, reduces rental costs and can generate meaningful cost savings.

The plain truth is that sharing not only offers cost savings, it can also support expanding care and increased revenue capture. And what healthcare organization isn’t looking for that?

By sharing equipment, providers can offer a wider variety of services at facilities throughout the system. Beyond that, equipment sharing helps justify the purchase of new, high-tech devices because leaders know they can and will be utilized across multiple facilities to optimize and justify their purchase.

To make equipment sharing really work, organizations need two things: 1) The right technology that tracks the equipment to ensure it’s at the right place at the right time; and 2) An intra-company logistics network that keeps that equipment mobile, so it’s deployed with the greatest efficiency throughout the network to ensure it’s where it needs to be, and that it’s there on time.

In fact, in response to a recent Health Management Academy survey one Chief Strategy Officer said, “The organization can’t operate without the right supplies being at the right place at the right time. If supplies are not available, then care is impacted.”

Ensuring that items are delivered on time and stocked in the right quantities, builds trust with medical personnel. Every hospital has a story about nurses or doctors hoarding equipment just to guarantee they have what their patients need for certain procedures. Equipment-sharing done right, eliminates the need for hoarding and ultimately has a three-fold benefit: it helps organizations cut costs, capture new revenue and build trust with staff, which leads to higher patient satisfaction.  

Over the past couple of years, there has been a lot of talk in our industry about systemness (and I’ve written about it pretty frequently). Sharing equipment is an important key to creating systemness. Providers who think of equipment as a shared system asset, are in a far better position to capture the triple aim, by bettering the patient experience, improving outcomes and driving down cost.

Oh, and increasing revenue capture in the meantime.

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