By Philip F. Jacobus
Unlocking The Value of
in the industry
Radiology administrators are dealing
with a lot more complexity than they
did 20 years ago. New business models
and the purchase, integration, and use
of new technology has made the job
much more demanding. If you are running a diagnostic imaging department
today, you certainly look at pre-owned
equipment differently than you did two
Pre-owned equipment is now mainstream and there is a global market hungry for what your clinic owns. Diagnostic
imaging equipment costs more, it does
more, it is more valuable, and there are
more options available than ever before.
The Internet has significantly changed
the selling dynamic and opened up
more options for clinics. This has, in
turn, provided opportunities to fetch
significantly higher prices than if equipment was traded in or sold to a broker.
This transparency and ability to sell in an
open, global marketplace has made selling pre-owned equipment online attractive, relatively straight forward, and well
worth the time.
By following these simple steps,
you can delegate almost everything
to a subordinate with the exception of
the negotiation. And, really, anyone
qualified to run diagnostic imaging is
qualified to negotiate a Cold War peace
treaty! Following are some suggestions.
1. Start early! The sooner you get
started, the easier the process will be and
the more money you will fetch when you
sell your equipment. Ninety days is ideal,
60 days is acceptable and, at 30 days out,
you are pushing your luck.
2. Make sure that the item you want to
sell cannot be used somewhere else within the hospital or IDN. If you have six
matching rad rooms, it may be worthwhile to strip one down for parts and
throw the rest of it away. The money you
save on parts might far outweigh what
the room would sell for. Be careful not
to be like my neighbor who had an extra
lawn mower in his garage for the last five
years because it was too good to throw
away! If you hold on to something, make
sure there is a real need for it.
If you are going to transfer or give
something to another facility, set your
expectations from the start. Who is responsible to deinstall, transfer, and put
it back together? You and your team
have plenty of other work to do so you
certainly do not want those responsibilities yourselves. Unless the group
you are transferring it to can handle the
job from soup to nuts, you are better off
Give other departments in the IDN a
deadline and if they do not pull the trigger by that deadline, move on down the
road and sell the unit.
3. Do a proper inventory. Look over
the item and write down your observations keeping key questions in mind. If it
is a rad room, for example, does the table
elevate? Does it float in four directions?
Is it an overhead tube crane or a floor-to-wall tube stand? What is the model of
the x-ray tube? How old is the system?
Have any components been upgraded
since it was installed? Are there manuals included? Where are they? What does
the tech say about it? Does it work right?
How is the image quality? Are there any
accessories with the system? And so on.
When potential buyers read what you
have written, they will know an honest
person described it and they will be more
likely to make offers.
4. Take pictures—lots of pictures.
Take 20 pictures. Digital cameras are
nearly free nowadays or use your smart
phone. You can email digital pics or easily upload them to a website.
Imagine you are the buyer. Wouldn’t
you be more likely to buy something if
you liked the way it looked? People will
pay more for things when they can see
what they are buying. We review pictures
on sites like TripAdvisor to confirm we’re
getting a decent hotel room—ample pictures provide someone with an extra level
5. Mentally walk through how you
are going to get the equipment out. Is it
on the ground floor? Is it a long walk or
a short distance to the loading dock? Is
there a loading dock? Does the deinstallation have to be done at night or on the
The Internet has brought efficiency
and transparency to the pre-owned
medical equipment market.