Life Sciences Resources

Purchasing and Priority Strategies for Medical Equipment and Devices

By: George Mathew

Key takeaways

  1. Critical Role of Quality and Reliability: Ensuring high-quality and reliable medical equipment is paramount for healthcare organizations. Thorough evaluation of suppliers and their products is essential to maintain the standards necessary for effective patient care and operational efficiency.
  2. Challenges in Medical Procurement: Common challenges in medical procurement include low product quality, slow supplier response times, and evolving regulatory requirements. Addressing these challenges requires diligent research, strategic planning, and ongoing monitoring to ensure compliance and timely delivery.
  3. Comprehensive Sourcing Process: The medical equipment sourcing process involves multiple stages, including technology assessment, device evaluation, planning, needs assessment, procurement, installation, commissioning, and monitoring. Each stage is crucial for ensuring the procurement aligns with healthcare facility requirements and regulatory standards.
  4. Strategic Supplier Management: Effective supplier management involves analyzing performance history, understanding regulatory changes, and utilizing different types of purchase orders (standard, planned, and blanket). This strategic approach helps healthcare facilities navigate global supply chains and secure the necessary medical supplies and equipment efficiently.

Medical equipment sourcing involves the method of acquiring medical supplies, equipment, and services for illness diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation is known as sourcing. A health system’s ability to function is primarily dependent on the technologies that the organisations employ. The use of health information in the development of medications, vaccinations, and high-tech equipment improves people’s quality of life.

The technology utilized in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities is known as medical equipment. These technologies enable medical professionals to examine the whole body and identify any diseases or deficiencies. Medical equipment can be categorized as electronic, diagnostic, surgical, durable medical equipment (DME), acute care, and storage and transport. The types of medical devices are stethoscopes, ventilators, syringes, wheelchairs, hospital beds, nebulizers, sphygmomanometers, etc. These devices are procured by hospitals from their suppliers, so while procuring it’s crucial to thoroughly evaluate the demands of your healthcare institution before making any purchases. This entails determining the precise kinds of medical equipment needed and taking into account elements like functionality, quality, and safety. It is essential to undertake extensive research on reliable providers. Seek out suppliers who have a history of providing dependable and high-quality medical equipment, While you procure medical supplies think about things like warranties, after-sales support, and customer feedback.

Medical supply purchasing challenges

Low product quality

There is a high risk of low medical equipment quality, it’s important for the healthcare industry to look after this issue as they cannot compromise the quality of medical equipment due to the sensitivity of the situation as it concerns the patient’s health. The medical business prioritizes providing the highest quality for its patients, and to do so, it must locate dependable, qualified suppliers that excel in what they do. There is a necessity for the purchasers to check the background of the suppliers they are dealing with, and their pricing strategy should be analyzed.

Supplier response time

Supplier response time is another medical procurement challenge that occurs, this refers to how much time is taken by a supplier to respond to inquiries and delivery. Buyers should get in touch with the provider directly and find out how quickly they often respond to questions or crises. This will enable the buyer to evaluate their level of dedication and readiness to offer prompt support when required. Purchasers shouldn’t buy from suppliers if they can’t guarantee a prompt response to the demands since delays might result in the loss of numerous lives.

Changing regulatory requirements

Changing regulatory requirements is one of the major issues that can create problems for procurement in medical field. With the upgrades and developments in pharmaceuticals, the rules and regulations also change and it’s the responsibility of the healthcare facilities to comply with them. To stay compliant with changing regulations, pharmaceutical companies should adopt strategies like implementing robust quality management systems, maintaining clear documentation, and conducting thorough risk assessments. They should also closely monitor updates from regulatory agencies, such as the FDA or EMA, to ensure they are aware of any changes that may affect their operations.

The Medical Sourcing Process

Technology Assessment

A thorough summary is needed for the medical, social, ethical, and economic aspects of health technology. This summary should be impartial, methodical, and clear. Existing reports are used to assess whether a specific technology addresses an existing health need. Based on the findings from these reports, appropriate measures can be taken to ensure that the procurement of technology aligns with the specific health needs. Technology assessment is crucial for making evidence-based decisions and developing plans and policies that maximize the potential of health-based technologies.

Device Evaluation

Assessing a device known as device evaluation. This involves confirming if the device is functioning as intended by the manufacturers. The assessment includes examining the performance and operation of the device. Before conducting an evaluation, it’s advisable to conduct market research to understand the available range of products. The evaluation facilities or test labs involved in the market research should hold certifications from relevant authorities. Reviews can provide a broader understanding of the device’s performance, although they may differ by region. This evaluation of devices is crucial and proves helpful when making future purchases.


Planning involves translating healthcare needs into future procurement requirements. It entails developing a suitable course of action to obtain necessary services at a reasonable cost and in a timely manner. Health policies, which vary from one country to another, provide the foundation for planning. Before proceeding with the medical procurement process, it’s important to assess equipment inventory and population data. Furthermore, it’s essential to ensure the correct use of technology. A procurement plan should outline timelines, specification requirements, market research, funding sources, reference prices, supplier database, management guidelines, necessary approvals, and strategies. Additionally, procurement plans should be based on approved models by the World Health Organization (WHO). It’s crucial to track the plan throughout the entire implementation process.

Needs Assessment

The evaluation of the desired healthcare procurements and the current situation is done under this. It measures the gap between the required healthcare and the current day scenario. Details such as the product type, quantity, value, location, due date, etc., are secured once this stage is reached.


Procurement involves obtaining necessary services. Contracts are created based on receiving and opening bids. The different bids are then evaluated and compared according to specific criteria. After that, the contract is offered, an order is placed, and payment schedules are discussed. It’s important to ensure that all negotiations comply with local rules and regulations.


The installation process is considered finished once the necessary equipment has been delivered, stored, and put in the specified locations. The designated site for goods placement must be properly prepared. It is essential to provide instructions for pre-shipping and sample inspections. Once transportation and storage costs have been settled, the transportation and storage processes become manageable. Maintaining a checklist is crucial for monitoring the progress of the process. Regular stock checks are necessary to stay updated. Strict adherence to the procurement plan is important as this stage is documented as the most critical for procurement completion. It is vital to check and report at each stage of this process.


Prior to using the equipment, a series of tests should be conducted to ensure that the device is safe and operating at its best. As a result, any necessary adjustments can be made to enhance the device’s performance. Thoroughly reviewing all documentation is essential before deeming the device safe for healthcare use. It is important to carry out safety, calibration, and functionality tests and to document the results. Additionally, the maintenance staff should receive training on the equipment they will be handling. Once the equipment handover is complete, it is ready for regular use by trained users. The acquired item should also be logged before being handed over for medical use. The responsible personnel overseeing each step should be qualified and technically trained.


The final step of any medical procurement process is to gather and manage data to control existing procurement. This sets the stage for implementing future procurement plans. It involves checking the performance of equipment and suppliers, as well as assessing cost-effectiveness and the sustainability of the technology. The accuracy of the equipment is calculated and compared with actual orders and requirements, taking patient safety into consideration. Monitoring is used to create a database of effective health technology, suppliers, and processes.

Purchasing strategies: how SpendEdge can help you

Purchasing strategies: how SpendEdge can help you

Supplier product analysis

We compare the level of service provided by each market source and select the top few for you. Our technique gives you access to the feedback left by the supplier’s previous clients, enabling you to learn more about their product quality. We sort suppliers into quadrants based on their product quality and operations by ranking them to find the best fit for you. We provide you with supplier scorecards where you may learn all there is to know about the accessible vendors which includes their product quality, functions, and service quality.

Analysis of supplier’s performance history

You will receive reports from our supplier performance analysis that describe the performance of the suppliers, their commitment to their jobs, and how quickly they respond to demand requests and inquiries. We help you in developing a thorough understanding of supplier performance relevant to each KPI so you can evaluate supplier performance and select the vendor matching your requirements. Our insights help you identify suppliers that can withstand volatile market conditions. Through our reports, you can evaluate supplier practices regarding ESG and other sensitive social factors. We also help you understand the mitigation measures used by suppliers to combat risk.

Insights into changing regulations

We provide you with insights into changing regulations of the supplier market, pharmaceutical industry, and supply chain. Through our reports, you get knowledge of the new laws implemented or old regulations that are ruled out in relation to medical equipment procurement. You will be gaining valuable information regarding alterations to the laws governing cost elements, raw materials procurement, market shaping trends, and medical equipment procurement process. You can get hold of the factors driving current and future prices, we conduct supplier risk assessments to give you alerts on the changing environment of the supplier market.

Success story: How SpendEdge helped one of its clients

Medical Supplies procurement for the pharmaceutical industry is crucial as these life-saving devices play a very important role in treating patients. Therefore, healthcare facilities should not compromise on the prompt delivery and consistent quality of these products because patients’ lives depend greatly on the timing and effectiveness of their care, and if delivery delays happen, it could result in the loss of important patients. This is why the pharma industry must take measures against these delays as it is a big issue.
A healthcare facility based in the UK asked for a hand to SpendEdge as they were facing delivery delays because of supplier irregularities and the quality of the medical equipment has degraded eventually. They also wanted to gain insights into pharmaceutical regulatory changes.
We helped the company by conducting analysis of supplier product quality and performance history, also we produced reports on the quality of the supplier’s product and the response time through which they got to know how the suppliers react to emergencies. Our experts provided insights into the alteration in the rules and regulations of the pharma industry and its procurement.
Our expertise helped the healthcare facility to gain a greater understanding of the supplier’s caliber and they were successful in selecting the best suitable one and the regulatory insights made the procurement process less complex.

Pharmaceutical sector

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Medical equipment sourcing plays a critical role in the functionality of the medical and pharmaceutical arena, directly impacting the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare organizations. The procurement process encompasses various stages, from needs assessment to monitoring, ensuring that medical facilities receive high-quality equipment and services. Addressing challenges such as low product quality, supplier response time, and changing regulatory requirements is vital for maintaining a reliable health system. Suppliers must be carefully evaluated, and purchase orders, including standard purchase orders, planned purchase orders, and blanket purchase orders, should be managed strategically. By leveraging health knowledge and insights into global supply chains, healthcare organizations can enhance their procurement processes, ensuring timely access to necessary medicines and supplies. The integration of advanced technologies and adherence to regulatory standards ultimately leads to improved patient care and a more resilient medical arena.

Author’s Details

George Mathew

Vice President, Sourcing and Procurement Intelligence

 George is a procurement specialist at Infiniti Research and provides advisory services to clients across the pharmaceutical, CPG & FMCG, energy, and automotive sectors. He specializes in the procurement areas of industry benchmarking, cost modeling, rate card benchmarking, negotiation advisory, and supplier intelligence.

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Frequently asked questions

Medical equipment procurement is the process of acquiring medical devices, supplies, and services necessary for the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of patients. It involves evaluating the healthcare institution's needs, researching reliable suppliers, and ensuring compliance with quality and regulatory standards to secure the appropriate medical equipment.

A medical equipment supplier provides healthcare facilities with the necessary medical devices and supplies. They source, stock, and deliver various types of medical equipment, ensuring they meet the required quality and regulatory standards. Suppliers also offer after-sales support, such as maintenance and training on the use of the equipment, to help healthcare organizations operate effectively.

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