Costs, Benefits and Features of Hospital POS Systems
Read This Buying Guide Before You Purchase a Hospital POS System
Though a hospital is typically not a location where the average person thinks of using a point of sale (POS) system, there are areas where the technology makes sense, including your on-site pharmacy, gift shop, and cafeteria.
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What are the Benefits of a Hospital POS System?
First and foremost, your POS system offers patients and patrons a convenient, secure system for electronic payment methods, including credit and debit cards, but also smart payments made via their phones, such as PayPal.
These systems benefit you as well, through a variety of special features. For example, in your cafeteria, you can easily track inventory of both perishable and nonperishable items. You can also automate inventory management by setting thresholds for generating purchase orders and even placing orders.
You can do the same thing in your pharmacy, for the non-prescription items you keep in stock. Another feature includes special coding for hospital employees, such as discounts in the cafeteria or gift shop.
What are the Features of a Hospital POS System?
With so much variability as to features, a definitive list is beyond the scope of this piece. However, we can provide the common components in any POS system. These include:
- POS computer
- POS software
- Barcode scanner
- Customer display screen
- Touch screen monitor
- Cash drawer
You can find POS software with numerous capabilities, such as logging employee hours, generating purchase orders, and creating reports.
When shopping for a POS system, ask the vendor for a demonstration, with you operating the system. You need to know how user-friendly the system is, and whether its interface is intuitive. You want a system that's easy to figure out and easy to train new employees on using. Make sure some level of training is included with your purchase.
You also want to ask about the cost of expanding the system and upgrades, in the event your needs change.
How Much Does a Hospital POS System Cost?
With so many optional features and not knowing your particular needs, an exact cost estimate isn't possible. However, there are guidelines to help you come up with your POS system budget.
A complete system, which includes the computer, touch screen, keyboard, and mouse, with a single terminal, starts at around $1,500. As you add users, you'll pay around $1,500 per user, due to the cost of equipment and software licensing fees.
If you're interested in purchasing a refurbished system, you'll save around 40 percent on the overall price. With used equipment, you want a top brand, as these nearly always last longer. Take the time to research the seller before buying used equipment.
If you already have the hardware and just need to purchase software, expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,000 for each license. Remember, you need a software license for each user. If you opt for a cloud-based POS platform, you instead pay a monthly fee per user. These typically start at around $10 per month, per user. Finally, if you include a mobile POS terminal in your system, add around $200 per unit.