The medical field is an incredibly diverse one. While doctors and other medical professionals often get most of the praise — and rightly so — there are some unsung heroes behind the scenes that ensure all the necessary tools and equipment are readily available for use.
These are the medical equipment planners. This group of professionals oversees the equipment procurement process, ensuring that a hospital’s tools are always available. When there’s a default or need for replacement, the equipment planner immediately sets up relationships with suppliers and gets the required tools. The same applies when a hospital finds a need for a new piece of equipment that they didn’t previously have.
So, while doctors, nurses, surgeons, and other medical professionals may be the actual lifesavers, they need the tools to be able to do the lifesaving. Supporting them in this regard is where the equipment planners come in, and their roles are just as critical.
Understanding a Medical Equipment Planner’s Qualifications
As a hospital administrator, you’ll definitely need an equipment planner’s services to help make things easier for you. However, you also need to ensure that the professional you hire is up to the task and qualified for the job.
To help you out, we’ve outlined some of the qualifications that medical equipment planners should have. When next you put out that “wanted” ad, ensure to keep an eye out for candidates who possess the following:
A medical equipment planner should:
- Have a university degree in Biomedical Engineering/Medical Devices or another associated Engineering field. Preferably, this field should be related to Medical Technology & Devices.
- Have at least a decades’ worth of experience in medical equipment. When considering experience, look out for past work in assessing organizational needs, purchase efficiency, equipment installation, testing, and commissioning.
- Have experience in medical equipment management.
Familiarity with international standards related to the following:
- Medical devices and equipment
- Safety hazards and practices
- Radiation protection lighting and illumination
- Sterilization in medical facilities
- Electrical safety
- Biomedical waste management
- Health facility design and planning
- Medical room occupation
Familiarity with health facility systems, including:
- Nurse call systems
- Building management systems
- IT healthcare systems
- AV and alarm systems
- Medical integration systems
Familiarity with medical equipment and furniture, including:
- Endoscopy systems and equipment
- Medical navigation systems and equipment
- Imaging radiology systems and equipment
- Medical bio-safety cabinets
- Medical refrigerators
- Examination and surgical lights
- Patient transportation devices
- Forensic medical equipment
- Wall mounting systems, etc.
Soft Skills and Requirements
Communication: Every professional in the medical space will need to have optimal communication skills to work effectively. Equipment planners also apply to this rule.
Research: The equipment planner needs to conduct proper research when purchasing tools. This includes pricing research, industry standards, specifications, and requirements.
Planning: An equipment planner will also need to effectively plan every step of the equipment procurement process, from start to finish.
Relationship Building: Equipment planners will need to build relationships with suppliers and other external operators to ensure a smooth procurement process.
Coordination and Support: If the equipment planner works within a team, they’ll most likely need to coordinate activities. The planner should also be able to provide optimal support when due.
Negotiations: Negotiations will come in handy when purchasing equipment for the hospital to get full bang for its buck.
It’s rather evident that equipment planners will need to be thorough professionals on the job. Ensure that you keep an eye out for anyone who fills the above criteria and can help make your work as easy as possible.