Anyone who has visited a major healthcare technology exhibition will probably feel overwhelmed by the product offerings from companies across the world. Choosing what will make a difference to your patients, clinicians and businesses is a difficult task.
The obvious differentiators between these products are advertised functionality, price, certification and support; not to mention the aesthetic questions of colour and ergonomics.
Exhibitions are not where the need for technology starts. A clear identification of the technology needs within your organisation is the starting point. To be effective in making this decision about new technologies does of course require a prior knowledge of what is available in the marketplace. Technology does not always come to the attention of the right people making the decisions.
Having determined the need then follows the informed selection, bearing in mind the criteria above. And don’t let the fear of technology redundancy or shelf life cloud your attempts to move forward as it is as simple as this “Build ageing of technology into your long term goals and use the fear factor as a driver to more evolutional steps in your care pathways”. It did take much longer than a day for Rome to be built, but get started.
Return on Investment
There are of course many benefits of moving with new technology and it is in fact necessary for organisations to do this in a well-considered manner; a healthcare organisation that stands still will not excel in today’s competitive environment.
Healthcare organisations are businesses needing to show a return on investment sometimes defined as a cost saving rather than profit.
This can be measured in purely financial terms providing that the complete chain of events surrounding the technology is taken into account. These include purchase/leasing, training, support, differential costs of operations compared with possibly exiting solutions to the problem. The question on your mind should be why currently the public healthcare systems around the world run at 3 times the cost per m2 than private.
Other value returns to the owning organisation will be in terms of reputation, effective patient treatment and results. There is an increasing interest in health tourism and in outsourcing from public to private health or across country borders where specific treatments are more readily available usually due to technology advances available or where the overall costs of “in and out”, patient care make a compelling case for change.
The bottom line: Healthcare technology innovation is in a very exciting phase and to take the benefit of this for your business, technology needs must be clearly identified and products carefully selected which are appropriate for your business. The use of the right products should provide clinical excellence and must make enable a real profit to be made for your organisation.