After the Tender: Expert Tips on Avoiding Surprise Nurse Call Management System Costs

After the Tender: Expert Tips on Avoiding Surprise Nurse Call Management System Costs

The complexity of an efficient and long lasting Nurse Call Management System (NCMS) requires more than just a talented team of engineers. 

On-site insights into the experiences of both healthcare workers, their patients, and their families are all crucial considerations when setting out to design a NCMS. The efficacy of the system has immediate and long term requirements that range from its communication capabilities i.e. connecting clinicians’ smartphones to the facility’s network and the NCMS, all the way through to when the time comes – sometimes more than a decade later – to integrate updated softwares and services without casting whole units into interminable fallow periods.

For firms vying to bid on a tender for a NCMS, partnering with an organization that can help them catch hidden long and short-term pitfalls during the design process will ensure that they not only make the most of their bid, but should they win – they ultimately provide future patients and healthcare workers with a final product that improves their experiences and caters to their needs.

The following are some of the most common hidden costs that land engineers and hospitals with hefty unavoidable bills and diminished facility capabilities.

Change Orders: Expect Some, Not Many

Change orders, though not completely out of the ordinary in some cases, are often completely avoidable and mainly the result of a lack of insight into healthcare distributors, existing facility capabilities, and the patient experience. Something as simple as including hardware in a bid spec that is either unavailable entirely or vastly undervalued at the time of the bid can result in a hefty change order – and where there’s one, there’s sure to be more.

In order to avoid mounting change order costs, working with a team of experts who know the ins and outs of healthcare facilities and come with pre-existing supplier partnerships. These partnerships can help mitigate the overall cost, short and longterm, exponentially. As mentioned before, sometimes change orders are unavoidable – so do expect them to crop up occasionally.

That said, working with healthcare systems experts throughout the design process will give teams foresight into what to expect, what to compensate for, and ultimately save immediate costs in design as well as preventative measures to deter excessive change order fees. 

The goal is to ‘measure twice, cut once’, to which the key is working with experts who have on-site healthcare insights, access to cost-effective supplier partnerships, integration and implementation expertise, and who operate with total transparency. This transparency is just as much about reducing costs as it is out of a shared interest in developing an effective, long lasting, and patient-focused final product. 

Licensing Fees: Hidden Software Costs

Technology of all kinds is constantly improving across industries, which is why it’s essential that throughout the tender-to-bid process there is full transparency about existing software fees as well as prospective costs down the line. Ideally, there would be a one-time licensing fee – but that is often not the case. 

While, to be fair, it can be difficult to anticipate the ways software solutions may change or what their future capabilities are, teams who put out a tender for a NCMS should reasonably be able to expect that considerations are made in regards to this critical aspect of healthcare systems designs. 

Have there been discussions about updating the software, future integration requirements, how the software operates with the existing systems in place at the healthcare facility? What will updates look like? i.e. will a unit have to be shut down in order to conduct an update or are there more seamless options available? 

These questions and more are essential to lowering the opportunity for future software and hardware fees, whether they’re recurring licensing fees or due to a demand for updates. By partnering with experts who have designed such systems and worked on integrating them into new and old facilities, design teams drastically increase their chances of a victorious bid and a long-lasting partnership with healthcare institutions thanks in part to their transparency and foresight. 

Hardware End of Life: Key Consideration During the Tender-to-Bid Process

Not unlike their software counterparts, hardware inevitably requires replacing. 

This can be a tedious, expensive, and time consuming process that leaves entire units out of commission. In these instances, patients are left to face the consequences of a healthcare facility with reduced capacity – at a time when staff and bed shortages are already at an all-time high. 

Is this entirely unavoidable? Again, like the change orders, hardware replacement and maintenance is a part of operating a functioning healthcare facility. 

However, with the right insights and connections to suppliers, these arduous hardware replacement periods can be reduced in both length and frequency by addressing them during the design process. By working with expert healthcare solutions architects, hardware end-of-life crises can be planned for. As a result, healthcare facilities are given the best chance possible to continue to operate at maximum efficiency with little to no unforeseen issues that result in reduced capacities or capabilities.