To this day, the demand for used medical equipment remains a hidden gem in the healthcare industry. According to Markets and Markets, three main factors continue to drive the demand:
- Growing demand for low-cost medical devices due to financial constraints
- increasing privatization in the healthcare sector
- Rising adoption of refurbished medical devices in developing countries.
For the folks who manage equipment at hospitals, you’re well aware of the opportunity that presents itself when dealing with used medical equipment. But are you asking the right questions when it’s time to get rid of the equipment?
Here at Surplus Service, an award-winning e-recycling company based in the San Francisco, CA, Bay Area, we are experienced in managing the proper disposal of medical devices. Here are four of the most common things hospitals have to think about when getting rid of used medical equipment.
Which Equipment Do I Get Rid Of? What Do I Keep?
When it’s time to upgrade to newer equipment or if your facility needs to liquidate assets, how do you know which medical devices to get rid of?
If your facility is small or you are using the equipment to diagnose less complex medical conditions, then experts agree that it might be better to hold on to the equipment a little longer. However, if you’re dealing with imaging equipment or the types of procedures that need to be performed with the latest and most advanced technology the market has to offer, then your best bet is to find a place for the used equipment in the secondary market.
How Do I Keep Patient Records Secure?
More and more these days, confidential patient data such as social security numbers are being stored on electronic equipment. Because hospitals are under pressure to digitize more patient information, hackers target medical facilities almost on a daily rate in search of what is known as protected health information or PHI.
So when it comes to getting rid of used medical equipment, don’t neglect the fact that data security is still key once the equipment is out of your hands.
Experts suggest hiring a certified disposition company to permanently destroy any PHI that still might exist in a piece of medical equipment so that you don’t have to worry about a data breach down the road. With years of experience in recycling, reusing and refurbishing medical and laboratory equipment, Surplus Service can make sure all your patients’ confidential information remains secure once you get rid of the surplus equipment.
Do I Have to Worry About Any Health Concerns?
According to Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor, it’s also important to keep in mind health and safety standards when it comes to surplus medical equipment.
“Equipment that is used to manufacture chemicals or biological properties is considered hazardous and must be sanitized according to industry standards prior to remarketing,” Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor reported. “When selling equipment that has been deemed hazardous, organizations should be prepared to properly sanitize and provide documentation of the cleaning.”
Do I Have to Worry About the FDA?
According to DOTmed HealthCare Business News, the FDA has taken a renewed interest in used medical equipment. It’s too soon to tell if any new regulations are on the horizon, but it does appear that the FDA’s involvement with used medical equipment could foster new communication between original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and third-party organizations who service their equipment.
Medical facilities should continue to monitor this development.