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How Will Hospitals Store Equipment After Covid-19?

       Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, finding storage for excess equipment is on the mind of many healthcare facilities. As the need grows for hospitals to store the excess equipment, more and more vendors will begin to provide storage options for their customers.

If you are thinking about storing excess equipment, before looking outside your hospital or health system, first take a look inside your own facility. About 75% of facilities have storage space within their own hospital or in a warehouse offsite that is filled with junk or surplus equipment that is not essential to store and is collecting dust even amidst the current pandemic. Now is the time to clear the clutter and remove the surplus, non-essential equipment, furniture, and junk so your space can be utilized for the essential equipment needed in the event of a future pandemic. If you can find the space within your hospital, you will save your facility on paying for storage and transportation, and your equipment can be maintained on site so it is ready for use if and when it is needed.

If your hospital or health system does not have the storage capacity even after doing a good clean out of non-essential excess, then storage may be your only option if you are planning to hang on to your excess equipment. Below are a few different options to consider:

1.) Renting or purchasing a warehouse/ storage facility to house excess essential equipment – This is not a great option for stand-alone facilities but can be a more cost effective option for a larger health system that is storing equipment for multiple facilities.

2.) Renting or purchasing a storage container to house on-site – If your facility does not have real estate inside but has some extra room outside, this could be a viable option for your facility. In my professional opinion, if you do get a storage container, use this to house other non-perishable items and use room inside your facility to house medical devices. According to the FDA, “many medical devices may not function correctly if they have been exposed to high levels of heat or humidity.”

3.) Paying a vendor to store equipment – This can be a great option to store your equipment depending on your budget. Some vendors will even transport the equipment back and forth from storage as needed but transportation and storage can get costly so make sure to weigh your options.

Lastly, keep in mind that we are still very much in uncharted territory right now with Covid-19 and are learning as we go, together. We have not seen a pandemic of this magnitude in 100 years and were not prepared to handle it effectively. Now that it has happened, our country is going into overdrive to prevent a disaster like this again and prepare for the next pandemic. The mistakes made during this pandemic are going to pave the way for us to do things better going forward and national and state stockpiles will be better equipped and maintained in anticipation for future pandemics.

This does not mean hospitals should not keep some surplus equipment in their facilities in case of an emergency, that will be part of the new normal going forward, but stockpiling an excessive amount of equipment long term can turn out to be unnecessary and just as costly if not more than purchasing equipment as needed during a future possible pandemic.

At ZRG Medical, our goal is to provide a tailored asset disposition solution that gives healthcare professionals back their time and space. We never charge a fee to remove medical equipment and depending on value, we may pay for the equipment removed. We work with hospitals to understand your needs, schedule on your terms, and remove your surplus medical equipment in the most efficient and environmentally conscious manner—no cherry picking, no waiting, no extra staff time needed and no hidden costs. Although our specialty is medical equipment, we are certified to manage all hospital surplus, excluding bio-hazardous materials and are happy to assist our local Southern California hospitals with the removal of their non-medical equipment.