Medical Cart TCO

Sacramento, CA USA

Medical Cart TCO refers to the “Total Cost of Ownership” of a medical cart or fleet of medical carts.

Hospitals’ typical purchasing process was limited to getting a few cart quotations from manufacturers or resellers, that itemized the cost of the carts themselves, as well as any accessories desired and freight. This process was limited in scope, and only allowed for ”Upfront” ownership costs to be vetted amongst the reputation of the company, representative, and perhaps responsiveness of both.

With the adoption of sustainability, we now have evolved to healthcare systems employing a procurement process that includes ”Total Cost of Ownership” or TCO into the economic consideration. This would include: expected use-life, service, warranty, maintenance, training, integration, and more. Additionally it would include cost of disposal, potential recycling, and replacement values to be combined with various expected use-life. Now the third layer of TCO is where my company TAGCarts is positioning – which includes the environmental and social impact of the product. Having a carbon footprint score associated with the product would be an example of an environmental character bringing economic savings to the initial product cost outlay.

Healthcare facilities’ (hospitals, medical centers, long term care, surgery centers, assisted living, etc.) clinicians have common tools used for the practice of healthcare. Most of these tools have evolved with technology advances to become products in the form of hardware, software, and services. Or services in the form of delivery, maintenance, distribution, reconciliation, and more. Working backward from healthy communities are improved patient outcomes, which are proven to improve with better patient care, which is proven to improve from caregivers being at the point of care, typically the bedside. If a caregiver, clinician or nurse has to constantly leave the patient point of care to retrieve or access necessary care items, such as supplies, medication, equipment or data, then patient outcomes would deteriorate. Thus, the medical cart is paramount tool for patient care, and a partner in care.

With a plethora of medical cart offerings available, it has traditionally been a commodity market whereby manufacturers offer a cabinet on wheels with drawers for storage, then allow for optimization of those items access and mobility. The first and second generation medical carts did this, with marketing around drawer organization, models available, and color theme assortments.