The ECRI Institute, a not-for-profit agency that studies and compares the efficacy of similar drugs and medical devices, has issued a list identifying the key healthcare technologies hospital officials should keep their eyes on over the next year.
The Top 10 Hospital Technology Issues: C-Suite Watch List for 2009 and Beyond, is intended to help hospital executives sort through the benefits and shortcomings of expensive, high-profile technologies and determine how best to allocate their capital budgets on the purchase of new equipment, ECRI institute officials said. The report provides an analysis of each technologys cost, reimbursement status and longevity outlook.
The ranking of 10 critical technologies will help them to pay close attention to technologies and issues that have a significant impact, said Jeffrey Lerner, the institutes president and CEO.
The list covers technologies such as electronic health-record systems, ultrahigh-field-strength MRI and premium-slice CT imaging machines, physician-preference items and radiation oncology equipment. The agencys suggestions include making EHR implementation a No. 1 technology priority; benchmarking costs of physician preference items so doctors can make informed decisions about the medical devices they select; and monitoring the clinical-outcome findings and reimbursement policies of payers for proton therapy oncology systems before investing in such capital equipment.