Faced with rising technology costs and numerous clinical department demands, hospital leaders nationwide are being forced to make tough choices with scarce capital technology dollars. The capital budgeting process can get political—and even downright ugly. How do administrators choose which new technologies are worthwhile, which are wasteful and which existing medical equipment can be reused? Keeping the right balance of new technology purchases and maintaining current systems is critical.
An informative white paper, Spending Scarce Resources on the Wrong Capital Budget Requests: Not In My Hospital! advises hospital administrators on how to make the right capital purchases—and how to find savings they didn't know existed. Re-released today by ECRI Institute (www.ecri.org), an independent, nonprofit organization that researches the best approaches to improving patient care, the report is available for free download at www.ecri.org/capitalplanning.
According to the report, in order to make the most of tight capital funds, administrators should start by ensuring they have a complete picture of all capital purchase requests hospital-wide, along with objective, accurate pricing data. In compiling this list, administrators may find that certain items have different names depending on which department uses them, but are actually similar.
"When administrators have a clear picture of what is being requested across the organization, they can determine if items are similar and look for opportunities for bundling and 'group buys' across departments and facilities," says Jennifer Myers, Vice President, SELECT Health Technology Services, ECRI Institute.