The recent “Healthcare Technology Assessment” webinar presented by expert Matt Dummert provided a meaningful structure for evaluating healthcare technology for investment or purchase through a technical, financial and strategic assessment. The webinar was sponsored by MTMI.
Dummert provided a brief overview of what “technology assessment” is and why it is important. He discussed how to evaluate the clinical or technical research to make decisions based on “real science;” he examined financial criteria related to the technology purchase, including both capital and operations costs, as well as revenue assumption. Lastly, Dummert discussed the strategic assessment that can influence decisions.
During a question-and-answer session, Dummert shared additional insights with attendees.
One question was, “How do you handle unplanned urgent replacement request when a system is down and there is no time to do a full assessment?”
“That’s a key point, that I did not touch on. So, I did mention that often we’re making decisions from, from emotion, and from kind of split-second decisions. I think the key is that you need to establish a technology assessment methodology ahead of time, so that as these requests come in, you’re able to swiftly evaluate them in the timeframe that’s reasonable,” Dummert said.
“But the one thing that I will mention is that with emergency requests for replacement of equipment, let’s take that example,” he said. “Just because you have the equipment now, and it’s down and you no longer can use it, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to replace it. I know that’s a tough concept to swallow sometimes, especially if you say that to somebody who is requesting it.”
“But if you step back just from a logical perspective, is we looked at that utilization assessment,” he added. “You know, if you have three of them, and one goes down, and now you’re saying I need another, well, do you really still need three of them? Can you get by with two? Is it really necessary to replace it?”
“The other point to make on this is if you think it’s really important, you need to replace it. Yeah. Bring it in for a request,” he added. “But then as a committee, the committee needs to look at whoever’s making the decision. The committee needs to look at, what are all the requests that are sitting in the queue. There might be some routine requests that are sitting in the queue that just have not been approved yet – that are actually more urgent than the urgent request that was just provided. It might just be a difference in emotion or just kind of like the squeaky wheel syndrome.”
“I think those are key concepts to think of. Establish your technology assessment methodology upfront, and always ask the question, ‘Do I really need to replace this?’ And, ‘Do I have other priorities that might be just as much of an emergency? They just aren’t getting the attention.’ ”
More than 100 people registered for the webinar with 82 attendees logged in for the live presentation. An on-demand version of the webinar is available online.
Attendees provided feedback in a survey that included the question, “How will today’s webinar help you improve in your role?”
“Think much deeper when buying and handling biotech equipment,” Engineering Consultant S. Alexander said.
“Better insight into equipment planning and procurement. Knowing the questions to ask when looking at new or replacement equipment,” said B. Pierce, CBET.
“I am a true believer in the technology assessment process and to one of Matt’s points, evaluating the utilization of the equipment should be incorporated in the process. Matt did an outstanding job of breaking down the sometimes complicated steps of a solid technology assessment process,” Perioperative Clinical Engineering Supervisor T. Cordes said.
“The content is directly applicable to my consulting work. Matt provided some great ways of explaining complex concepts in very approachable ways,” said C. Davis-Smith, company president.
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