Feature | Cardiovascular 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

Medicare Trustees Report Hospital Insurance Trust Fund Will Deplete in Seven Years
News | Cardiovascular Business | April 22, 2019
The Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund, which funds Medicare Part A, will only be able to pay full benefits...
Videos | Cardiovascular Business | April 16, 2019
A discussion with Ruth Fisher, MBA, vice president of the...
Foreign-trained doctors now make up one-third of cardiologists in the United States and help make up for the U.S. overall shortage of physicians. Pictured here is co-author of this article Mandeep R. Mehra, MBBS, MSc, FRCP, who is an example of the contribution international physicians have made in the U.S. He is medical director of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart and Vascular Center.

Foreign-trained doctors now make up one-third of cardiologists in the United States and help make up for the overall shortage of physicians. Pictured here is co-author of this article Mandeep R. Mehra, MBBS, MSc, FRCP, who is an example of the contribution international physicians have made in the U.S. He is medical director of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart and Vascular Center, The William Harvey Distinguished Chair in Advanced Cardiovascular Medicine, and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is past-president of both the Heart Failure Society of America and the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation. 

Feature | Cardiovascular Business | April 15, 2019 | William W. Pinsky, M.D., FAAP, FACC, and Mandeep R. Mehra, MBBS, MSc , FRCP
As we strive to process today’s successive news cycles involving negative reports about immigration, it is easy for m
ACC Combines NCDR, Accreditation Into New Quality Summit
News | Cardiovascular Business | March 15, 2019
The American College of Cardiology’s first annual ACC Quality Summit, held March 13-15 in New Orleans, merges the NCDR...
Diagnostic and Interventional Cardiology Named 2019 Azbee Awards Finalist for Social Media
News | Cardiovascular Business | March 08, 2019 | Jeff Zagoudis, Associate Editor
Diagnostic and Interventional Cardiology (DAIC) was named a finalist in the Social Media Presence category for the 2019...
 FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb Announces Resignation
News | Cardiovascular Business | March 05, 2019 | Jeff Zagoudis, Associate Editor
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., resigned from his position March 5 after two...
Diagnostic and Interventional Cardiology Honored as Jesse H. Neal Awards Finalist

An example of the new transesophageal echo (TEE) visualization technology called TrueVue was shown at TCT 2018 for the first time. Philips’ new photo-realistic rendering is designed to offer a surgical view of cardiac structures to aid transcatheter procedural navigation.

News | Cardiovascular Business | February 25, 2019
Diagnostic and Interventional Cardiology has been recognized as a finalist in the Jesse H. Neal Awards for the third...
GE to Postpone Healthcare IPO Following Biopharmaceutical Business Sale
News | Cardiovascular Business | February 25, 2019 | Jeff Zagoudis, Associate Editor
GE Healthcare announced Feb. 25 the sale of its biopharmaceutical business to Danaher, and GE Chairman and CEO Larry...
Medical Bills Financially Burden Almost Half of Cardiovascular Disease Patients
News | Cardiovascular Business | February 11, 2019
Over 45 percent of adult atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) patients suffer financial hardship related to...
Overlay Init