Spending to IMPROVE your bottom line

Counterintuitive?  Not at all!  Keeping up with your clinical life-cycle and leveraging the latest technology is paramount to your ongoing success.  Most, if not all hospitals are coming off a long spending freeze in reaction to the continuing recession.  Getting your purchasing back on track, upgrading equipment and taking advantage of the latest technology to improve efficiencies and profitable revenue, will positively impact your bottom line. 

A hospital failing to analyze the clinical life-cycle of their equipment is at risk, more-so today than ever before.  Consider a cash-strapped community hospital struggling to survive; if they’re running a 5 year old CT or older, there may be many studies they can’t perform.  Some of those studies will undoubtedly offer higher reimbursement.  Some are critical to the latest protocols for identifying a health issue and delivering the highest quality care.  Failing to spend money on the new CT is costing that hospital money in more ways than one.  They are missing out on more profitable revenue for those studies they are unable to perform.  They are also driving away potential patients who are seeking a better quality of care and are willing to travel out of the area to get it and they are solidifying their place in the market as the care provider of last resort. 

To a lender, early signs of trouble are not only an aging plant, but aging technology.  The elimination of services is even more troubling.  If your life-cycle plan simply involves responding to the requests of your most influential doctors, you’re on the wrong track.  Today’s technology is advancing at a rapid pace.  Leveraging those advancements to improve your efficiencies and profitable revenue is paramount to your success.

The discussion of spending is heated at the water cooler as we’ve watched congress and the President battle over the deficit and whether to cut spending or continue to increase taxes to the so-called “rich”.  Wasteful spending is not the topic here.  Even if you’re in difficult times at your hospital or system, spending on your revenue generating technology is critical.

Providing world class care requires world class technology. If you’re not and your competition is, you don’t need tea leaves to see the future.  It’s not just medical equipment, if you think you’re saving money by running pc’s for 6 or 7 years, spend some time reviewing your pc repair receipts for parts and don’t forget the man hours for your IT staff. While you’re at it, take a stop watch to any department and time how long they’re waiting for their pc to respond or recover as they tap their coffee cup against the monitor and practice their expletives.  You should be on a 3-4 year cycle for all your pc’s. Not only will you improve the efficiencies of every department, you’ll save thousands of dollars in labor and repair.

Consider the benefits of an operating lease for all your IT and you’ll save thousands more by eliminating all your HIPAA compliant memory swiping costs and your EPA compliant disposal costs. You’ll only be paying for the useful life of the technology instead of the full purchase price, and while current FASB standards are still in place, those leases won’t count against your debt capacity.

There’s never been a better time to upgrade technology. Medical device manufacturers are desperately trying to improve sales, interest rates are at historic lows and technological advancements are abundant.  Take advantage of the market and spend your way, wisely, to a stronger bottom line.

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