The 5 don'ts of equipment buying


Wishy-washy decisions on purchases and buying equipment you don't need can blow your budget. Save money by avoiding these mistakes.

IF YOU'RE BUILDING A NEW HOSPITAL or redesigning your current one, you're probably also buying expensive medical equipment. Here's what not to do, courtesy of architect Wayne Usiak, AIA, who specializes in veterinary hospital design.

Wayne Usiak, AIA

1. Don't delay equipment selection. The longer you wait, the more it will cost. Select equipment before you finalize designs. Then you won't have to pay more later on to rework and re-engineer the design. Early selection means initial budgets will accurately reflect and address equipment and facility costs.

2. Don't change your equipment choices. You and your architect have arranged great spots for certain equipment. Now you're changing it? This can require more changes to adjacent or displaced spaces and systems. That means expensive change orders, which are important to avoid during the construction process.

3. Don't fail to research the equipment's requirements. Failure to identify space and usage requirements for new equipment can result in change orders in both design and construction. And that can cause schedule delays.

4. Don't buy "toys." Always look at expected profits and usage of each new piece of equipment. What kind of training will you and your team need? Will you be able to charge enough to make the new equipment worthwhile? Or do you just want to play with a new piece of technology?

5. Don't build space for equipment you may not need. Yes, you want to look ahead. But accommodating new equipment that may never end up in the hospital can be a costly proposition. Know what you want beforehand, so the architect can match the space to your known needs and avoid overspending for space and building requirements.

Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Wayne Usiak, AIA, is a senior partner with Wayne Usiak and Associates/BDA Architecture PC in Albuquerque, N.M. Catch him before CVC Central at Veterinary Economics' Hospital Design Conference Sept. 12 to 14. He'll speak on guiding your design project, defining your role on the project team, and designing exam rooms that work.

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