The medical field is quite unlike any other. Within it, you’re dealing with the lives of individuals and need to be extremely careful while operating. Medical professionals train for years before they’re allowed to handle equipment and patients — a process that ensures their ability to correctly get things done when the need arises.
Despite the medical space’s nuances, however, there’s one area where things tend to get more black-and-white; procurement. If you work at a hospital or a medical facility, then you’ll already know that there’s a need for specific tools and machinery to help everyone work effectively. Sometimes, purchasing these tools requires a lengthy process. It’s worth understanding how that process moves.
The medical equipment procurement process essentially encompasses the steps that go into how a hospital (or another medical organization) gets the equipment that it needs. In general, procurement looks to improve processes while also cutting down on costs and building relationships with partners. With that in mind, let’s take a quick look into how medical institutions get this done.
Components of the Procurement Process
Regardless of the industry, every procurement process consists of the following components:
- People: These are the stakeholders in the process and their responsibilities. These people will be in charge of initiating and authorizing steps at every stage of the process.
- Processes: This is the list of rules and procedures you should follow at every procurement timeline stage. While they ensure a systemic flow, they can also increase the complexity of the processes.
- Paper: This concerns the documents and paperwork that will be required at every stage of the process. Of course, many of these documents can now be stored online.
Workflow for The Medical Equipment Procurement Process
We’ve included a seven step process to detail everything included in medical equipment procurement.
Step 1: Recognizing the Need
The first step in the medical equipment procurement process is understanding that there’s a need for a particular tool (or a set of tools). Usually, an internal staff member recognizes this need and immediately escalates it to the appropriate authorities. Their approval will determine whether or not you can move on to the next step.
Step 2: The Purchase Requisition
The purchase requisition is essentially a document (written or electronic) that spells out the organization’s need for an item. It also provides information on possible ways to source it.
Step 3: Requisition Review
The requisition is escalated to the appropriate authorities and reviewed immediately. The review process will primarily focus on the organization’s need for the equipment in question and the budgetary possibilities of purchasing it.
When the requisition is approved, the medical equipment procurement process can officially begin. An approved requisition essentially becomes a purchase order.
Step 4: Solicitation
After generating the purchase order, the procurement team will need to build a procurement plan and build a solicitation process. Ultimately, the scope of this plan will depend on the equipment and the complexity of purchasing it.
After budgetary approvals, the team will forward the requests for quotation to different vendors who sell the equipment. The vendors can submit bids for the order, and the procurement team will make decisions from there.
Step 5: Evaluations and Contract Awarding
The procurement team will receive bids and quotations from different suppliers and review them. This review will determine the supplier who best fits the requirements. The selected vendor receives the contract, and both partners can negotiate to reach common ground.
From there, the purchase order is sent to the vendor. As soon as the vendor acknowledges receipt of the purchase order, both parties enter into a legally binding contract.
Step 6: Order Management
The vendor delivers the medical equipment. Upon receipt, the organization will need to examine the order. If they find any issues, they notify the vendor immediately.
This step of the medical equipment procurement process will also involve reconciling all documents — including purchase orders, vendor invoices, and packaging slips — to ensure accurate data transmission and resolve any discrepancies.
Step 7: Keeping Records
Once payments are made, the organization will keep records of the transaction for auditing purposes.
VOC Has Perfected The Process
VOC Associates has a team of professionals with experience in setting up multiple facilities. Whether your facility needs medical or laboratory equipment, we have a planning process that covers every detail. Visit our website or call (216) 279-5340 today!