Are you building a brand new hospital? If so, you are going to need to fill it with the proper equipment and supplies. And there’s a lot that goes with that.
Or maybe you are remodeling an existing hospital, or setting up a temporary clinic. Either way, you need to know where to buy medical supplies and equipment.
Whether you are performing life-saving surgeries on a medical ship in remote corners of the globe or serving your local community right here in the US, there are common hospital supplies that every surgeon and nurse will need to serve patients.
Keep reading to discover exactly what you are going to need and how to buy it online today.
Stock Up on the Basics
Before getting into the technical equipment needed, let’s go over the basic supplies that any type of hospital needs to have an abundance of. Without these, you won’t be able to perform even basic checkups or procedures.
Many of the general supplies can be purchased from one supplier. Depending on your medical supply budget, you might opt for generic brands. But some of the more specialized supplies will require purchasing from highly specialized companies.
For both staff and patients, paper products are used constantly. From paper towels and toilet tissue in the restrooms to water cups, plates, and napkins used in cafeterias, paper is in no short supply in a hospital.
Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is vital to keep your hospital sanitary and safe for everyone. This means having clean lab coats and aprons available at all times.
It also means having disposable, medical-grade masks for staff and for patients and visitors who fail to bring their own. Disposable gloves are used non-stop and are one of the most ordered items for any hospital.
There’s plenty of other generalized equipment your nurses, doctors, and technicians will need as well. This includes items such as penlights, stethoscopes, reflex hammers, ear syringes, and other non-invasive tools used to evaluate and diagnose patients.
There’s also a load of equipment needed for those undergoing inpatient or outpatient procedures. This includes everything from catheters to syringes and needles, to tourniquets and crutches.
Your hospital will need a constant supply of clean linens, gowns, and cleaning cloths. And it’s going to need a cleaning and disinfecting system, complete with all necessary products, to sanitize constantly throughout the day.
It can be overwhelming to list out everything needed to stock your hospital. It’s important to work with each department to create an inventory list, as well as asking your suppliers what type of product packages they can create for you.
Along with the basics, your hospital is going to need specialized equipment. These tools do everything from evaluating patients to saving their lives at a moment’s notice. Here are just a few important tools.
One of the most important pieces of equipment you’re going to need is a defibrillator. These devices detect irregular heartbeats for patients undergoing cardiac arrest or other high-stress conditions.
They can help slow down a heartbeat if it’s going too fast, speed up a heartbeat that’s going too slow. They are also used to restart a heartbeat that suddenly stops.
And there are different types of defibrillators you might need in your hospital. AEDs, ICDs, and WCDs all work to send a shock to the patient to restore normal heart rhythms. Know which ones you are going to need, depending on the types of procedures you plan to offer.
When installing defibrillators, you are also going to need mounts to keep them accessible at a moment’s notice. Click here to learn more about the best, most lightweight, and most efficient defibrillator mounts.
One of the most important, yet most overlooking pieces of equipment, is hospital stretchers. To effectively treat patients, position them for procedures, and transport them throughout the facility, high-tech stretchers are needed in abundance.
Along with stretchers, surgical tables are vital to adequately perform surgery. They need to be able to easily lift, lower, adjust the position of the patient, and be easy to disinfect quickly.
How to Buy Medical Supplies
Purchasing medical supplies for your hospital is all about finding distribution partners. It’s not one-time sales. You need suppliers you can count on every week and every day, so you can keep serving people.
Here’s what to keep in mind when looking for suppliers.
Work With Reputable Suppliers
The medical industry is huge. Countless supplies are sent around the world to doctors, hospitals, and clinics that need them daily.
But because there is a lot of money to be made, many people are trying to make fast money. This can take any number of appearances.
For one, DIY vendors might stock up on cheap medical supplies from overseas and market them as high-quality, medical-grade products. Others might utilize dropshipping techniques, where an order is placed in the US but is fulfilled by a company in Asia.
And many other types of illegitimate companies may try to earn your business, but won’t be able to deliver medical-grade products.
To avoid these poor sellers, you must do research. Ensure you are only buying from reputable, well-established suppliers who have worked in the industry for a long time.
You don’t want to work with a new supplier who isn’t capable of meeting demand at a moment’s notice. You need companies who have experience working with hospitals day in and day out.
When considering a supplier, make sure to check out the company’s history, verify past clients and public records, and determine where they source or manufacture their products.
Read Company Reviews
Part of working with reputable suppliers is reading online customer reviews. These can exist on multiple platforms, so it’s always important to cross-reference.
While reviews on their website are generally hand-picked to highlight good experiences, it helps to review third-party sites. This can include the Better Business Bureau and Google Reviews, among others.
If you have connections with others in the industry, make sure to ask for referrals so you can get a headstart in the search for good suppliers.
Compare Multiple Companies
Don’t just go with the first company you find. When you plan to spend a lot of money over the course of months and years, you must take your time when choosing suppliers. Part of that is comparing multiple vendors.
Determine their medical supply prices and their payment terms. And when you communicate with each company, let them know what other companies you are considering purchasing from to see what they can offer you that their competitors can’t
Contact Their Sales Team
It’s important to vet a prospective supplier before making a purchase. Rather than making an order online, contact their sales team.
You essentially want to interview the company to see if they are the right fit for your needs, and vice versa. By contacting their sales team, you’ll find out quickly if their goal is to genuinely assist, or if it’s simply to close a sale.
You want to work with a company that is less interested in the quick sale and more interested in a long-term partnership. Ask what type of clients they cater to. Ask about the ordering process, or what happens when you need a rush order.
Ask if they offer custom quotes, then see if they can put one together for you for your first order. If they are willing to have a long conversation, and willing to accommodate your needs, they may be worth purchasing from.
Place Sample Orders
When you find companies that may be able to supply the supplies and equipment you need, at a price that agrees with your budget, place a sample order.
Rather than ordering the full quantity of what you need, you first want to evaluate the company, the ordering process, the quality of the product, and so forth.
Evaluate Customer Service and User Experience
Once your sample order is placed, take note of everything that happens. How was the ordering process? Easy and streamlined? Or unnecessarily complicated?
Did you receive any follow-up? How fast did your order arrive and how was it packed? What is the final product like and is it worthy of using in your clinic?
When it comes down to it, you want to choose the companies that make ordering, customer service, and troubleshooting a breeze.
Boosting Your Hospital’s Efficiency
It’s no easy feat to buy medical supplies, either online or in person. It takes a dedicated team of people in your hospital to ensure you are always properly stocked.
It also takes specialized training to anticipate events before they take place, so you can stockpile items that are likely to go out of stock shortly.
Bringing on qualified personnel to handle purchasing and inventory can make or break your hospital’s effectiveness. The ones who know what they are doing are worth every penny of their salary.
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