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ECRI service to aid hospitals in planning tech purchases

Healthcare research firm ECRI Institute is offering a capital budgeting service that aids hospitals and delivery systems in making capital purchasing decisions for medical technology.

ECRI says the offering is an attempt to simplify and expedite the decision-making process for technology purchases and projects.

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“Health systems are financially strapped, so they’re constantly trying to spend less and get more for each department,” says Thomas Skorup, vice president in the applied solutions group at ECRI.

Under the program, a consultant works with the organization to review and address a range of issues that could impact a medical technology purchase decision, such as clinical appropriateness, effectiveness, return on investment, standard of care, regulatory issues, obsolescence and related trends.

ECRI says it gives service clients a customized decision support model preloaded with their capital budget requests. Visualization tools enable healthcare organizations to weigh variables and blind requests, and pose “if/then” scenarios.

An early adopter, a 17-hospital system that ECRI did not identify, saved $600,000 by choosing a single-plane electrophysiology lab over a bi-plane lab, ECRI says in a press release announcing the new service. The same delivery system also saved $2 million by delaying investment in a second surgical robot, and it saved another $3 million by avoiding investment in a CyberKnife system.

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