Purchasing medical computer carts for your healthcare facility is a straight-forward process, but there are several important decisions to make along the way. One of the first decisions you'll come to is whether you should purchase carts that are new, used or certified pre-owned - and you'll have to think deeply about your budget as well as your specific equipment requirements to come to a decision either way.
Many hospitals choose to purchase the latest and greatest mobile computer carts available, spending the most money up-front in hopes of getting the best product delivered and making it last for as long as possible in the healthcare setting. While this decision is common, it may not be the wisest choice, and our estimates indicate that many healthcare facilities could save big money by purchasing refurbished mobile computer carts instead of new ones.
So we got to thinking - what's preventing all of these healthcare facilities from actualizing the savings associated with buying refurbished carts instead of new ones? Today, we're sharing our results - the biggest myths about what it means to buy refurbished carts - in hopes that hospitals will see the light and start taking advantage of the huge cost savings that come with purchasing certified pre-owned mobile carts.
What Exactly Does Refurbished Mean?
New products come right off the manufacturing line and get shipped to your healthcare facility. Used products are pre-owned, meaning that someone else has already taken advantage of some of the usable lifespan of the product. Refurbished products fall in between - they're products with varying degrees of use that have been restored to like-new condition by qualified technicians who work in the industry.
The Difference Between Used and Refurbished
Refurbishment means to repair and renovation, it means that we've taken a product that came to us used and we've made it work like new again. That means that anything broken has been fixed, anything worn down has been replaced, and the equipment can be sold as if it were like-new.
Used equipment is someone's discarded investment - it may work, or it may not. Used equipment is often sold as-is, and it's left to the buyer to determine what state the equipment is in, to invest in repairing it if needed, and to bear responsibility for whether the equipment functions. For most hospitals, purchasing used healthcare equipment simply isn't an option. On the other hand, purchasing a refurbished item that has already been repaired and restored can represent an excellent opportunity for cost savings.
Five Myths about Refurbished Mobile Carts - Debunked
Refurbished Mobile Carts Can't be Customized - One of the main concerns we hear about refurbished equipment is the customization options. Healthcare facilities need customized layouts for medical computer carts, depending on whether they will be used for documentation, dispensing medicine, telemedicine, or other applications. Although they may be older models, refurbished mobile computer carts still have all of the customization options that new carts do, meaning that facilities can save money with refurbished carts while still getting the exact features that they need to optimize workflows in any department.
Refurbished Mobile Carts are Harder to Repair - A common belief about refurbished equipment is that it's difficult to make repairs when the equipment breaks down. For starters, it's important to have preventative maintenance in place as a core process at your healthcare facility. Preventative maintenance is an investment that increases the working life of mobile computer carts at your facility, protecting your investment and minimizing unplanned downtime. With outsourced preventative maintenance, it's easy to keep refurbished carts in an excellent state of repair and ensure access to any replacement parts you require.
Refurbished Mobile Carts are More Prone to Damage - We're not sure where this one came from, but a lot of people think that refurbished equipment is more prone to damage than something that's newly bought. This seems to come from a belief that refurbished mobile carts are just used ones that have been quickly checked for basic function. This is far from the truth. Sometimes manufacturers ship a product with a slight defect, the customer returns it, and the manufacturer fixes the defect and sells it as refurbished. Hospitals swap out new equipment for old, giving up mobile carts that are in good condition for newer models - those older models are refurbished and sold.
Brand new carts may even be the riskier choice when it comes to possible malfunctions - a new model hasn't survived testing in a healthcare facility for extended periods, whereas older carts are validated in their function by having survived a couple years of use.
Refurbished Equipment Comes Without a Warranty -When you purchase a new piece of equipment, it's normal for the manufacturer to include a warranty that protects you in case the product arrives damaged or breaks in the first 1-3 years of ownership. This is almost never the case with used mobile carts if you purchase them as-is, but what about refurbished carts? A reputable company should be able to offer at least a limited warranty on refurbished medical carts.
A refurbished cart is specially repaired and restored by a qualified technician for sale in like-new condition - shouldn't it come with a warranty that certifies a good job was done? We make warranties and service packages available for all refurbished carts that we sell.
Refurbished Equipment is Cheap Due to Poor Quality - It's normal to see the relationship between price and quality, and it's true that high-quality goods are more expensive. The economics of refurbishments are different though - someone has already paid the retail price that helps cover the manufacturer's product development costs. Our costs for refurbishments come down to repairs and maintenance on the carts, including any replacement parts needed to move them along in their best condition. That's how we can afford to sell refurbished carts at up to 70% off the regular price.
If you're still not sold on the idea of finding a home for refurbished mobile computer carts at your facility, think about it as the difference between buying a new or dealer certified pre-owned car.
New cars are more expensive, have all the latest features, and are bright and shiny. They also cost a lot more, and while they do come with great warranties, they are not a fully validated product - nobody knows how they will run after two years on the road.
Used cars are a lot cheaper, and they've already survived thousands of miles of travel, meaning they are a fully validated product. If you could get a used car with a preventative maintenance package, a comprehensive warranty, and customized to your exact specifications, wouldn't you want to take advantage of the lower price?
In an industry where price and quality are often synonymous, it can be difficult to acknowledge and appreciate the benefits of buying refurbished medical computer carts instead of new ones. Still, the benefits and cost savings are there for healthcare facilities willing to go this route.