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Wednesday, 08 February 2017
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An LED, or Light-Emitting Diode, works by electroluminescence – its material emits light in response to an electric current or field. By contrast, incandescence works by visible light being emitted as a result of the high temperature of its material, while fluorescence is the emission of light by a substance (phosphorus in fluorescent bulbs) that has absorbed light. Incandescent bulbs were developed as far back as the late 1800s. Fluorescents took off in the 1930s, and LEDs had their start in the 1960s. As the technology continues to develop, LEDs have recently become more affordable and have been found in a wider variety of applications. For healthcare, this allows for more durable, efficient, and environmentally sound lighting for exams and surgeries.

The benefits of LED lights are many. There is no warm-up time as with incandescent bulbs, so an LED will reach full brightness much quicker. Because LEDs do not rely on high temperatures to produce light, they generate much less heat than incandescent lights, which results in a more comfortable working environment. Although they are smaller, LEDs consume less energy than halogen bulbs at the same intensity of light; in fact, LEDs produce more lumens per watt than incandescent bulbs. LED light can be dimmed and focused, and color can be achieved without using filters.

Another benefit of LED lights is their durability. LEDs are shock-resistant, unlike fragile incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. Fewer LED bulbs will be needed than other types of bulbs over the same period of time. Incandescent bulbs have an estimated life of 1,000 to 2,000 hours, and halogens have a lifespan of 2,000 to 3,500 hours. Fluorescent lights have much a longer expectancy of 10,000 to 15,000 hours, and LED lights more than double that range. Unlike these other types of bulbs which go out suddenly at the end of their use, LEDs gradually dim. An LED light can last up to 30,000 hours before significant dimming is observed, with an overall estimated useful life between 35,000 to 50,000 hours.

So how do you compare different models of LED lights to find the best value for your exam or operating room? There are few different measures of quality you’ll want to review.

First, there is light intensity, which is measured in lux. One lux is equal to one lumen over one square meter, or for reference, know that: a) direct overhead sunlight is approximately 130,000 lux, and b) the higher the lux number, the brighter the light. Intensity is determined by the strength and arrangement of bulbs, so even a product with fewer LEDs than its competitor could be brighter due to the strength and placement of its bulbs.

Next, Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) is measured in degrees Kelvin and indicates the color of light produced by the bulb. The higher the number, the whiter the light produced, and the more accurately the objects under the light will be perceived. Natural daylight is in the 4,000 to 6,000 range, which is also standard for most LEDs. Color temperatures above this range are cooler and slightly bluer, and those below it are warmer and a little more yellow or orange. Depending on what needs to be observed under the light, different temperatures may be ideal – or physicians may prefer different temperatures than each other for the same procedures. For this reason, you will find that most exam lights are standardized within the range of natural daylight, while many surgical lights have adjustable temperatures so that the best temperature can be selected for each procedure as needed.

Another measure of how closely a light reveals the color of an object as compared with how that object looks under natural light is the Color Rendering Index (CRI). The highest possible value is 100, identical to daylight; LEDs will have CRIs of 80 or more.

Other considerations when reviewing your LED light options are maneuverability of the light head, the size of the area of light produced, and shadow control. Shadow control is possible with LED lights because manufacturers are able to design the lights so that some of the tiny bulbs will shut off or dim in the presence of something obstructing the path of its light so that no shadows are produced and instead light is directed where it is needed for the procedure.

Before deciding, see the light in person. Ask vendors if they can bring in a light on rolling stand so that you can try it out inside your operating or exam room, or ask nearby facilities of similar size if you can observe their light in action. If you are able to discuss a particular LED light with a facility that has been using that model for a while, request their opinions on maneuverability, stability, focus, and shadow control based on their experience using the light for their procedures and exams. An important part of the planning process if you have an integrated OR and decide on an LED light from a different vendor is to confirm with each vendor that this will be compatible and to request room plans to avoid issues with lights or booms bumping into each other or your staff.

Many medical equipment manufacturers offer quality LED lights for the healthcare industry; here are examples of both exam and surgical LED lights available from just a few manufacturers, STERIS, Skytron, and Trumpf Medical:

EXAMPLES OF LED EXAM LIGHTS

Manufacturer

Model

Intensity

CCT

CRI

Average Life

STERIS

Harmony LED385

50,000 lux

5000 K

90

30,000 hours

Skytron

Triango

55,000 lux

4500 K

95

30,000 hours

Trumpf Medical

TruLight 1000

80,000 lux

4500 K

95

50,000 hours

 

EXAMPLES OF LED SURGICAL LIGHTS

Manufacturer

Model

Intensity

CCT

CRI

Average Life

STERIS

Harmony LED

160,000 lux

4400 K

97

30,000 hours

Skytron

Aurora Four AUA5

160,000 lux

Adjustable: 4100 K or 4500 K

96

40,0000 hours

Trumpf Medical

iLED 3

160,000 lux

Adjustable: 3500 K, 4000 K, 4500 K, or 5000 K

98

40,000 hours



 
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Posted on 02/08/2017 10:58 AM by Karen Dino
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Wednesday, 04 January 2017
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When you're in need of a certified Fair Market Valuation, be sure to inquire about the contractor representative's qualifications. Several professional appraiser organizations provide designations to their accredited members. These designations represent an elite level of qualifications knowledge and experience that you will benefit from when engaging a certified professional to provide your valuations.

The American Society of Appraisers administers a thorough process of evaluation, ensuring only the most educated and experienced professionals are awarded its Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) designation. To receive the Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) designation from the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA), one must meet standards for ethics, objectivity, and professional competence. These certifications reflect a commitment to excellence.

Additionally, find out whether your appraisal will comply with Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), which ensures quality control. USPAP was established in the 1980s and is updated biyearly to ensure that current best practices are followed throughout the industry.

 

About Partners Healthcare Group

Partners is a women-owned business specializing exclusively in healthcare services involving medical equipment assets. Our 20+ years of experience includes performing dozens of valuations for medical centers, surgery and imaging centers, long term care facilities and physician clinics. Partners' Director of Financial Services, Amber O'Neal, is both ASA and CVA certified. O'Neal has years of experience providing clients with quality Fair Market Valuations and asset audits.

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Posted on 01/04/2017 2:32 PM by Karen Dino
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Wednesday, 28 September 2016
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Ghost assets are assets accounted for on your fixed asset listing that do not actually exist at your facility. This can happen when an asset has been sold or traded-in for credit on another purchase, used by Biomed for parts to repair like items, or simply taken out of service (retired) but this activity was never recorded on the fixed asset listing.

In our experience, we have found that even facilities that are excellent at properly accounting for assets as they come into the facility will have at least some ghost assets lingering on their listing due to the sheer volume of capital assets in the healthcare setting. This is why we recommend our Asset Inventory and Reconciliation service once every 5 to 10 years so that such discrepancies can be identified and corrected.

Ghost assets are a real problem because: 

  • They can cause increased personal property taxes (i.e. for-profit organizations could be paying taxes on assets that don't exist!) 
  • Overvaluing due to ghost assets could result in overstated Fair Market Value
  • Ghost assets cause distorted financial reporting

An Asset Inventory and Reconciliation to remove ghost assets will provide:

  • Accurate accounting of assets for your financial reporting
  • Accurate Financial Analysis (ROI)
  • Personal property tax reduction
  • Improved capital budgeting

About Partners' Asset Inventory and Reconciliation Services

Partners' Inventory Services are patient-staff oriented. Partners Inventory Specialists make every effort to avoid any inconvenience to patients and hospital staff as they move through the facility to record and tag equipment. Assigning barcode tags capitalizes on time spent inventorying; it turns the point-in-time view of existing equipment captured through the inventory into a working tool that can be utilized well beyond the project's closeout. Tags will be useful for logistical planning for any construction project and for financial accounting for the life of the equipment. Contact Partners today at 800-270-7582 for a proposal tailored to your specific needs.

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Posted on 09/28/2016 2:20 PM by Karen Dino
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Monday, 19 September 2016
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Equipment procurement for healthcare projects can involve a variety of types of medical equipment from a number of different vendors. Before you buy medical equipment, consider the advantages of purchasing from medical equipment distributors. 

First, there's the time saved on a multitude of quote requests. If you've ever been responsible for requesting quotes for a healthcare equipment project, you know that this process can be quite a hassle. By going through a distributor, you're able to request a single quote on most or all of the items you need at once. Medical equipment distributors offer thousands of different products from hundreds of manufacturers, ranging from basic to brand name items. 

Next, you'll notice that most distributors take pride in providing only the very best customer service. Establishing a relationship with a dependable distributor can extend the convenience of a one-stop-shop on to routine, operational purchases as well. You'll find that medical equipment distributors offer competitive pricing, too. 

Lastly, logistics services from a distributor can be the solution you never knew you needed, especially if your facility lacks storage space. Some medical equipment distributors will offer such services to store, assemble, stage, and then help to install the items you've ordered into the appropriate rooms as soon as your project is ready for them. The next time you buy medical equipment, contact a distributor first to see what a difference it makes for your project.

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Posted on 09/19/2016 4:10 PM by Karen Dino
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Friday, 16 September 2016
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refurbished medical equipmentPlanning for medical equipment purchases can be a bit of a process. There are many medical equipment companies offering a variety of products to suit the needs of complex healthcare environments. As you consider the various options, you may also want to question whether refurbished medical equipment could deliver the technology you need with a cost savings that presents the best value.

Savings can be great on refurbished medical equipment such as operating tables and large diagnostic equipment as compared to the price tag on new medical equipment. You may be surprised to find that many late models are available as refurbished medical equipment and that the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) would be glad to service them.

When searching for the best refurbished equipment vendor, have these tips handy:

1. Ask whether they offer a warranty

2.  Ask about their process for testing and certifying the equipment

3. Request user manuals with your purchase

4. Inquire about their return policy

5. See if they will offer Fair Market Value for your trade-in

6. Consider renting the equipment before committing to the purchase

Once you have found a reliable, well-established refurbished medical equipment vendor, work with them to select the most appropriate product. There's no sense paying for extra features you don't need and will likely never use. There are a few instances where refurbished medical equipment may not cost all that much less than new healthcare equipment, for example: there is not much cost difference between new and refurbished for products without a technology component, such as stainless steel items or overbed tables.

Refurbished medical equipment can be a great option in many cases; these vendors have been in business for years because satisfied customers have kept coming back. In fact, growth is projected for this market for the next two or more years.

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Posted on 09/16/2016 2:00 PM by Karen Dino
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