When you’re at the optometrist getting a new pair of eyeglasses, have you ever wondered how long it took to move the wall of demo glasses to the office?
What about hospital MRI and X-ray machines? What was the process to transport them from the manufacturer to the third floor of a medical facility?
Medical equipment moving is a very specialized niche — with good cause!
This equipment is often very sensitive.
And very heavy (like as heavy as an elephant — LITERALLY. An MRI machine and an African elephant both weigh around 13,000 pounds!).
And also very expensive (sometimes millions of dollars!).
AND very important — potentially life-saving!
With so much on the line, finding a mover to crate, store, and drive medical equipment to its destination is a BIG job.
Appleton has the coverage, tools, and experience to handle the BIG task of moving medical equipment.
When you’re considering a moving partner for your medical move, there are several “check-up” qualifications that should be non-negotiable. But first, let’s give a quick overview of what medical moving might entail.
What Is Medical Equipment Moving?
Medical equipment moving is all about safely getting healthcare devices from one place to another. It can include multi-million dollar exam equipment (from huge machines like MRI and X-rays) to smaller items (like ventilators, IV pumps, or boxes of hospital gowns) and the IT equipment needed to support those tools.
It involves planning, storing (temporary and long-term), specialized handling, and using suitable vehicles to drive medical equipment to its destination. Movers must have the training to safely prepare this equipment for transport, follow regulations, install and precisely recalibrate machinery, document EVERYTHING in compliance with industry standards — and prioritize safety the whole time.
At Appleton, here are some of the medical items we’ve moved:
- MRI machines
- X-ray machines
- Hospital Beds
- Medical items requiring refrigeration
- Surgical equipment
- Emergency medical supplies
- Full doctors’ offices
Medical moving services could include:
- Relocating existing equipment: When a medical practice moves, a mover might crate and drive medical equipment to their new location.
- Upgrading or replacing equipment with new models: This also includes uncrating the equipment, disposing of the packing debris, and relocating or disposing of the old equipment.
- Final Mile medical moving: Sometimes, several doctors or facilities in an area need the same types of new equipment. Medical equipment moving companies (like Appleton) receive a bulk shipment of this medical equipment from a manufacturer. As each recipient reaches the right phase in their build-out and becomes ready to receive their items, we make sure the equipment reaches the correct end user.
- Temporary or long-term storage and delivery: During renovations, inventory management, and emergency situations, a doctor or facility might need short-term storage for their medical equipment.
Long-term storage might be needed to house extra devices, emergency supplies, seasonal items, or older equipment awaiting a new recipient or proper disposal.
Whatever your medical equipment moving needs might entail, it’s important to find a mover that checks all the boxes. Here are three things to look for in a potential moving partner.
Three Qualifications Your Medical Equipment Mover Should DEFINITELY Have:
1. Valuation Coverage
When you’re choosing a moving partner to handle and drive medical equipment to its destination, it’s vital that they have the valuation coverage to safeguard delicate and expensive equipment.
This coverage provides financial protection in case the equipment gets damaged, lost, or stolen during the move. It ensures that the owner or healthcare facility won’t be left with the whole financial responsibility if something happens. Without valuation coverage, replacing or repairing expensive equipment (like MRI machines) could be a huge, disruptive financial burden.
At Appleton, we approach moving important medical equipment the same way we approach every move: with care, planning, customization, and professionalism.
Make sure your mover has the right equipment, experience, and coverage to handle the medical equipment moving job.
2. The Right Equipment and Training
When it comes to moving medical equipment, there’s more to the process than meets the eye. First, you need a vehicle that’s able to carry medical equipment (like an MRI machine) weighing over ten thousand pounds. But medical equipment also has very specific handling requirements.
- Some items can’t be tipped past a certain degree or angle.
- Some items can only be moved in a specific range of temperatures.
- Some equipment must be cleaned and kept in a sanitized condition during transportation and delivery.
Cleaning and sanitation is sometimes also part of the medical equipment moving process. Sometimes the equipment needs to have surfaces cleaned, be placed in plastic totes that have also been sanitized, and transported from clean room to clean room.
An experienced medical mover (like Appleton) will have the cleaning certifications to drive medical equipment to its new location.
Sometimes medical moving involves transporting non-prohibited hazardous materials (like radioactive or biohazardous materials). Movers that handle and drive medical equipment and materials like these need special safety training and precautions. Packaging needs to be secure to avoid leaks, and some materials must be kept at specific temperatures.
Moving teams working with items like these need the equipment and training to move them safely.
Once equipment is safely loaded, transported, and taken to its destination, it might need to be recalibrated to work properly. Recalibration specifics vary by equipment and are determined by industry best practices. Specialized equipment must meet strict healthcare standards and regulations.
Does your mover know the specifics of recalibrating sensitive medical equipment?
Crating and Unpacking
Like every other type of move, it’s important to use the correct materials and techniques in packing, crating, and transporting. Sometimes, you might need a specialized crate made to fit your items.
When you’re looking for a moving partner to drive medical equipment to a new location, make sure they’re trained to safeguard sensitive and valuable devices with proper crating. At Appleton, we’re experienced in building custom protective containers with padding, climate control if it’s required, and clear labeling. And when we uncrate the equipment at its destination, we carefully unpack, check for damage, and dispose of the unneeded packing debris.
3. A Proven Track Record
When it comes to moving medical equipment, you need a moving partner with experience. In dealing with such expensive and sensitive devices, it can’t be a company’s first rodeo.
Here are some questions to ask a potential mover:
- Can you provide references from others who had a good experience with your medical equipment moving services?
- What’s your plan for minimizing downtime during the move?
- What training does your team have to pack, load, unload, and transport medical equipment safely?
- Can you tell me about a challenging situation you’ve faced in moving medical items and the solutions you implemented?
- How do you handle equipment inventory, safe-handling procedures, and regulatory compliance records?
Knowing a company’s experience with these types of moves can give you valuable insight into how they’ll handle your situation.
Are they efficient?
Are they well-versed in compliance regulations?
Do they have the right vehicles and training to drive medical equipment to a new location?
Do they have a reputation of safety and reliability?
Finding a mover with a great track record can give you the peace of mind and confidence that your move and equipment are in good hands.
And Appleton has a great track record with moving medical equipment.
Experienced, Safe, and Successful Medical Moves
Earlier, we mentioned the wall of demo glasses at an ophthalmology office — and asked how they got there. At the office in question, we can tell you how the glasses got there: We moved them!
At the close of day on Friday, we documented how they were organized (by brand and cost), safely packed them, transported the glasses (along with the exam equipment!), and set up the display at the doctor’s new location. And the office was open to see patients on Monday without disruption to their business.
We’ve moved MRI machines, deployed specific emergency medical equipment to field hospitals, and have many other success stories that we’d love to tell you about!
Are you confident that your medical equipment move is in good hands? We’d love to help you check all the boxes. Call Appleton today for a free assessment.