Supply chain inefficiencies are one of the largest costs in hospitals. A large portion of these inefficiencies stem from ineffectively measuring the medical device life cycle.  Without proper knowledge and resources to support life cycle costs while evaluating products, hospitals may end up buying more medical devices than necessary. Many medical devices can last longer than people think they do and therefore, monitoring the life cycle of these products can cut costs for hospitals. Sometimes, repairing the medical device through in-house repairs is more cost effective than replacing the device. 

Tracking the life cycle of medical devices can “reduce healthcare spending around the margins” (Lagasse, 2020). Oftentimes replacing devices includes “capital equipment, installation costs, repairs, training and maintenance costs” as well (Lagasse, 2020). Therefore, overseeing the medical device life cycle can reduce overall supply chain costs. 

Although every healthcare system wants to decrease spending, doing so may prove to be challenging. The lack of data surrounding medical device life cycles can lead to difficulties knowing when medical devices need to be replaced or how to repair devices that do not yet need to be replaced. Sometimes hospitals buy new medical devices instead of repairing the ones they currently own. Consequently, this results in dead stock, and the old devices could have been repaired. 

In order to cut costs in hospital supply chain by tracking the medical device life cycle, there may need to be an increase in in-house repairs. In-house technicians can facilitate this process. By servicing medical devices instead of buying new ones after looking into the medical device life cycle, hospital supply chains can be more efficient and cost effective in their efforts. 

Through monitoring the medical device life cycle and determining whether the purchasing of a new product or repairing the product is better, hospitals can save a considerable amount of money. Cutting supply chain costs is a big priority for hospitals and tracking life cycles of medical devices is a way to substantially save.

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Resources:

Lagasse, J. (2020, January 15). Reducing medical device life cycle costs an effective way to trim healthcare costs around the margins. Retrieved from https://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/reducing-medical-device-life-cycle-costs-effective-way-trim-healthcare-costs-around-margins

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