Two workers inspect medical scanning equipment

Getting the Most out of the RFP Process when Looking for an HTM Provider


By Robbie Frazier

The pandemic was a triple whammy on hospital finances. First, in an effort to deliver on their missions of quality patient care, hospitals struggled with overcapacity issues for critically ill patients requiring expensive care and treatment. Second, elective surgeries and routine care stopped in waves in their tracks, drastically pausing a significant revenue stream. Third, supply costs skyrocketed, particularly in the demand for protective gear for providers.

Fast forward to today, and hospitals are still resuscitating ailing budgets – making it the perfect time to look at whether your Healthcare Technology Management (HTM) is delivering the optimal performance at the best cost. As you begin forecasting your post-pandemic budgets, start with a critical look at your program’s revenue path. Assess whether your medical technology is working flawlessly for a positive patient (and provider) experience; if it’s not, you’re probably not on target to meet revenue targets.

Next, validate your inventory to understand where you’re spending money, including a breakdown by functional area. Analyze what and where you’re spending. Find out if your providers are satisfied with equipment performance and availability.

Armed with that data, you can answer the big question: Have you optimized your HTM program? If not, it’s time to consider looking for an external partner who can deliver the efficiency and effectiveness – not to mention cost savings – your hospital needs and your providers and patients deserve.

Before going any further, let me say that the most important takeaway is that you own your success in picking the right HTM provider for your organization. And everything starts with the time and energy you invest in developing a Request for Proposal (RFP) that allows you to fairly compare bidders and gets to the heart of what you want in a true, collaborative partner.

If you’ve been in this industry as long as I have (which is 35 years), it’s likely that you’ve seen the same basic set of questions in most RFPs. Certainly, you should expect some standardization, but not to the point that HTM providers can blindly copy and paste stock answers from one RFP to the next. (You can also tell if those bidders are really interested in your business, because they will pay attention to the finest print you can throw at them.)

An RFP, at its basic level, is about getting consistent information from every bidder. But that doesn’t mean you should simply issue those routine off-the-shelf set of questions. Instead, we recommend you reimagine the RFP experience into a tailored exercise that can guide you to the right HTM provider. That includes better sharing your hospital’s missing, setting parameters for success and knowing the right questions to ask to get the most meaningful and actionable responses.

Taking the First Step

Transitioning to a new HTM provider might seem challenging, but, for external partners, this is what we do. The right-fit partner will come in with a detailed strategy and guide smart implementation and integration, indeed shouldering the heavy lifting for you. To be honest, your more difficult move is simply to decide to change. Download my latest white paper, Right-Sizing HTM Partnership to Maximize Value in the Face of Competition: Tips for how supply chain directors can validate their inventory and ROI, where I’ll walk you through making the right decision for the future of your hospital’s program.

Robbie Frazier is TKA’s vice president of sales.


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