Health is wealth might be a clichéd concept, but it holds true. In lieu of it, medical supplies and equipment are a critical component of the health care industry, and their quality and adequacy can have a major impact on the quality of patient care and health care costs. Health care services are very particular about the kind and quality of medical equipment they buy in order to meet their needs.
Today, there is a massive range of different brands providing medical supplies and equipment. The kind of supplies and equipment that gets selected relies on a number of aspects and factors like, the costs, technical suitability, availability of spare parts and if the staff is well trained to use them. Procurement of these supplies and equipment is not enough as the health care facility needs to be well aware of the management of medical supplies and have complete information on them.
Medical supplies and equipment
The distinction between medical supplies and equipment is not very clear to most people. For those working in the health care industry, it is essential to understand the difference and work efficiently.
- Medical supplies – The medical supplies are items or objects that need to be replaced on a routine basis and some examples of this are, disposable syringes, needles, catheters, thermometers, etc. These supplies are single-use items or those items that are to be used within a short time.
- Medical equipment- The medical equipment are those items that last for several years, and some examples are, examination tables, microscopes, weighing scales, examination tables, sterilisers, and bedpans.
Choosing the Proper Medical Supplies
It is not easy to select medical supplies and equipment because of the wide range of products available. However, if one keeps certain aspects in mind, they can decide what essential supplies to order for the health care setting based on their needs. The major aspects to keep in mind include public health, technical factors, economic aspects, and clinical reason.
- One must think as to why they are ordering certain medical supplies for their health care facility, and how that equipment, as well as the supply, would benefit the patients. They need to categorise those medical supplies as: ‘vital,’ ‘essential’ or ‘not so essential’ for their health care services.
- The level of appropriateness for a particular setting can also help decide on the kind of supplies and equipment to order for. The local conditions, the level of acceptability, and compatibility will help decide as to how useful certain equipment would be in the local condition. Avoid buying those supplies that are too technically sophisticated for the staff as they will prefer not to use that medical equipment. The medical equipment should be socially and culturally acceptable to both staff and the patients.
- It is equally important to finding the reliability and durability of the medical supplies in the local environment that may be too hot, humid, or dusty. Some supplies and equipment may require special storage conditions and may be very sensitive to heat and humidity.
- Last but not least, the quality of medical supplies is very important as the quality will decide the materials and design, the performance and safety of the equipment. The quality of performance will rely on the very best quality. Sometimes, it is not cost-effective to buy the most expensive medical supplies out three, but still, quality and performance cannot be compromised with over the life of the patients.
Getting top quality medical supplies and equipment means more expenses. At the same time, one should avoid buying the cheapest items as they turn out to be even more expensive in the long run as they need constant repair or replacement and may even comprise with the quality of health care services. It is advisable to go for a higher quality item that is well within your budget and always check the expiry dates.