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7 Questions to Ask Before Buying Refurbished Medical Equipment

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Anyone considering the purchase of refurbished imaging equipment has saving money in mind. After all, getting more done with the same (or lower) budget is more important than ever. The secondary equipment market is the perfect place to achieve those goals, but beyond simply paying less, it's important to look for overall value and real cost-effectiveness. To that end, we'd like to share some tools that can help you find the refurbishment provider who will best fit your needs.

The following are seven questions you can ask a refurbishment provider to better understand what you can expect from their quality and the experience of working with them. After you check out the questions, stick around and download them for your reference in our handy PDF checklist resource.

7 Questions to Vet a Refurbished Imaging Equipment Provider

  1. Is your refurbishment process ISO certified?

    ISO certification is an auditing process many companies undergo as a way to standardize their processes and demonstrate tangibly their commitment to quality assurance. For refurbishment, this is a great way to understand the level of quality you can expect from the equipment you're about to purchase.

  2. Can you provide documentation of your refurbishment process?

    For a company that's ISO-certified, this should be very easy. It can be a document. It can be a video or a blog; anything that details, step-by-step, what's going to be done to the equipment to make sure it's in great shape when it arrives at your facility.

  3. Do you have a HIPAA compliance procedure?

    HIPAA is a federal requirement that says all patient information needs to be removed from the system before it leaves one facility to go to another. Making sure that your refurbishment has this step in their process can help you avoid being fined for having information you're not supposed to.
  4. Do you perform internal decontamination for each system?

    Systems, over the course of general use, can get dusty, dirty. Blood, contrast dye, and other bodily fluids can accumulate on the outside, and it's relatively easy to clean these off, but is the same level of care taken on the inside of each system, where accumulated dust and debris can clog fans, overheat components, or just be a general biohazard for future users? Making sure your refurbisher cleans the inside as well can help you from taking on any ‘hangers-on’ that you didn't bargain for.

  5. Can you provide video proof of system functionality before it leaves your facility?

    This could be as simple as an iPhone video, or as high-tech as a professional-grade camera. The important thing is a seamless, without edits clip, front-to-back, of the system going through all its movements and taking a scan. It provides an additional layer of credibility and protection for you, the buyer.

  6. Will I have access to QA results before the system ships?

    This could be anything from a PDF report, to a short video clip, or maybe even a screen capture of a successful QA screen (see example below). This is proof to you that the system is functioning within specifications set by the original manufacturer.

  7. Is there a project manager for updates and progress reports?
    This question doesn't have much to do with equipment, but it has an awful lot to do with the experience you'll have as a buyer. A refurbishment provider who also offers project management assistance gives you a common touch point for communication from start-to-finish on your refurbished equipment project.

The Takeaway

We won't say that a company who passes all these criteria will be perfect, or that a company who passes only a few of them will be terrible. We will say, however, that asking questions like those listed above and on the checklist will help you learn more about the providers you're considering and create a dialog that communicates their level of quality and your level of expectation.

For your reference as you vet refurbishment providers, click on the banner below to download the checklist and see how your prospects stack up!