We at MERC perform a condition assessment, assessment for short. A medical equipment or asset assessment is when the subject item is given a visual evaluation based upon its wear and tear, condition, state of technology, and vintage. The assessment gives an indication of the ongoing usability and contributes to establishing value of the subject equipment. Below are some points to help better understand the assessment process and their importance:
Judge the Book by its Cover
Many times we are discouraged to evaluate something by its outward appearance, but much can be learned about an asset by looking closely. If a piece of equipment looks new and lightly used, there is a good likelihood it hasnt received much use. This is fairly obvious with a newer piece of equipment, but tells a different story with an older piece of equipment, a story that may warrant further investigation to fully comprehend. The flipside is also true, with a caveat. If the item has received a great deal of use it is typical to see significant wear and tear. The caveat is that the item is may be very reliable and provides excellent utility to care givers, and has earned the observed wear and tear.
Technology Moves Fast
Just like other technologies such as computers and personal entertainment devices, medical equipment changes quickly. Sometimes an item may look new or seem to be in very good condition, but it is rapidly becoming obsolete or behind the times in terms of patient care. Assessing medical equipment with consideration of technology requires a current understanding of technological advancements in the specific modality, placed within the context of the venue of care and the industry.
Rate it with Meaning
Without a defined rating system, the assessment is just guessing and inconsistent. When assessing assets, developing a standard scale and rating definition is highly recommended. This helps a facility or organization place the asset within the population of assets in the proper perspective of ongoing value and usability.
Assessing assets based upon a singular perspective (financial, technical or clinical) is not recommended. Understanding ongoing industry acceptance, usability, state of technology, plus overall condition is vitally important to a useful assessment.