Feature | Business | December 18, 2007| Dave Fornell

Don’t Overlook the Simple Questions When Purchasing New Technology

Common sense is probably the biggest factor to use as a guide when looking to buy new medical technology and equipment. However, sometimes emotions, territorial department heads, old-school resistance to change and personal preferences influence or override the decision-making process in any profession. To overcome these issues, the basis for any medical evaluation committee should make it a priority to answer one central question: What is best for the patient?

When I attended the 2007 American Society of Anesthesiologists annual meeting in San Francisco in October, I listened in on a refresher course for evaluating new technology, presented by John Abenstein, M.D., Department of Anesthesiology at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

He said committees need to establish criteria for evaluating new technology. The key questions include: Does the technology work, what studies confirm its effectiveness, can the technology work in a real-life situation as opposed to a clinical research facility and will it make clinically relevant differences in outcomes?

A committee should consider if the old equipment still has technical support and if spare parts are available. Will the new equipment do more and will it save time and money? What problem is the new technology going to solve? Dr. Abenstein suggests visiting the factory to see how the devices are made. Is the factory clean and organized? If not, he questions the quality of the machines.

He says to figure in the stability of a company. If a company is not in business three years after you purchase equipment, it will not help your long-term use of the equipment.

All sorts of justifications will be used to sway people to believe new technology is needed. Dr.Abenstein said people should not buy into emotional appeals that the technology is needed for children's or women’s health or else the hospital will not be supporting those causes. He says the bottom line is to ask if the new technology works and if it will significantly improve outcomes and be cost effective.

Some will argue equipment is needed to meet a regulatory mandate. If that argument is used, committees should ask to see the mandate in writing. Dr. Abenstein said many times it is not a mandate, but rather a suggested guideline.

Committees should also look at patient safety issues and consider standardization as a goal. If a hospital uses numerous types of machines for the same function it can lead to errors due to confusion between the different operabilities, or people not knowing how to use a machine they are not used to.
 

Related Content on the Basics of Evaluating New Technology

The Basics for Evaluating New Technology

Four Key Themes Emerging in the Medical Technology Market

Drawing the Line When Evaluating Cost vs. Benefit

Related Content

Vascular screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral artery disease and hypertension during the VIVA Study in Denmark

Vascular screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral artery disease and hypertension during the VIVA Study. Photo credit: Lisbeth Hasager Justesen, Viborg Hospital.

News | Cardiac Diagnostics| September 12, 2017
September 12, 2017 — A new screening program for vascular disease saves one life for every 169 men assessed, accordin
Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF) announced the promotion of Juan F. Granada, M.D., as the foundation’s president and chief executive officer (CEO). CRF sponsors TCT.

The Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF) announced the promotion of Juan F. Granada, M.D., as the foundation’s president and chief executive officer (CEO).

Feature | Cath Lab| September 12, 2017
September 12, 2017 – The Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF) a
Abbott. St. Jude Medical has updated its firmware to address cybersecurity issues with its Allure Quadra MP and other EP devices

Abbott. St. Jude Medical has updated its firmware to address cybersecurity issues with its Allure Quadra MP and other EP devices.

Feature | EP Lab| August 29, 2017 | Dave Fornell
August 29, 2017 — The U.S.
News | August 28, 2017
To ensure you continue to receive information most critical to your job, please participate in a survey that will tak
Healthcare cybersecurity concerns have increased dramatically as EMRs and medical devices become more digitally connected.

Healthcare cybersecurity concerns have increased dramatically as EMRs and medical devices become more digitally connected.

Feature | Cybersecurity| August 18, 2017 | Dave Fornell
August 17, 2017 — Cybersecurity has become a growing concern in healthcare as patient data, medical systems and impla
CMS considers eliminating cardiac bundled payments.
Feature | Business| August 16, 2017 | Dave Fornell
August 16, 2017 — The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a proposed rule to reduce the number
CMS is considering eliminating or changing bundled payments for cardiac rehabilitation.

CMS considers eliminating or changing bundled payments for cardiac rehabilitation.

News | Business| August 14, 2017 | Dave Fornell
...
Left Atrial Pressure Monitor from Vectorious Medical Technologies Offers New Hope for Heart Failure Patients

On of the top stories in July was the introduction of a left atrial pressure monitor from Vectorious Medical Technologies to prevent heart failure patient hospitalizations or readmissions. Read the article"Left Atrial Pressure Monitor Offers New Hope for Heart Failure Patients."

Feature | August 01, 2017 | Dave Fornell
Aug.
Nuance Restores Service to Majority of eScription Clients Following Malware Incident
News | Information Technology| July 28, 2017
Nuance Communications Inc. provided an update on its restoration process following the previously reported June 27,...
Overlay Init