Abstract: Technology management has assumed a role of vital importance in today’s health care environment. Capital reserves and operating income have been stretched by pervasive and expensive technologies, while overall reimbursement has been reduced. It is imperative for hospitals to develop and consistently use technology management processes that begin prior to a technology’s introduction in the hospital and continue throughout its life cycle. At Samaritan Health System (SHS), an integrated health care delivery system based in Phoenix, technology management provides tools to improve decision making and assist in the system’s integration strategy as well as control expenses. SHS uses a systemwide technology-specific plan to guide acquisition and/or funding decisions.
This plan describes how particular technologies can help achieve SHS’ organizational goals such as promoting system integration and/or improving patient outcomes while providing good economic value. After technologies are targeted in this systemwide plan they are prioritized using a two-stage capital prioritization process. The first stage of the capital prioritization process considers the quantitative and qualitative factors critical for equitable capital distribution across the system. The second stage develops a sense of ownership among the parties that affect and are affected by the allocation at a facility level. This process promotes an efficient, effective, equitable, and defensible approach to resource allocation and technology decision making.
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