Are You Making the Best Technology Investment Decisions?
Making the wrong technology adoption decisions not only wastes precious capital but can hinder your organization’s abilities to evolve in our rapidly changing industry. Sg2’s 2014 Pulse survey, our annual survey on capital budgets and technology acquisition, reflected technology trends we’ve heard about for much of the past year. Eighty-one percent of respondents report their capital budget is shrinking or staying the same. Fifty percent are being asked to propose technologies consistent with value-based payment. As these trends continue into 2015, it is clear that today’s technology landscape is less focused on acquiring the latest “shiny new object” and more focused on performance, attaining the best value for the lowest price and maintaining connectivity across the care continuum.
With these factors in mind, Sg2 is pleased to announce the release of the newly updated STEP (Sg2 Technology Evaluation and Prioritization) tool. STEP is an online analytical tool, available to all Sg2 members, designed to prioritize technology investments by assessing your organization’s and your network’s technology infrastructure. The output helps you determine which investments best fit your organization’s priorities in the context of forecasted outpatient utilization. STEP covers technology adoption for outpatient care sites in the cancer, cardiovascular, imaging, orthopedics/spine, neurosciences and pediatrics service lines.
How Can STEP Improve Service Line Planning?
Let’s look at an example to help answer this question. Sg2 worked with a national public health system in Southeast Asia serving a population of more than 7 million people to develop objectives for technology planning, adoption and maintenance. Historical and current limitations in funding and the lack of a strategic approach to technology planning contributed to an uneven distribution of technology across hospitals and a decentralized approach to processing applications for new equipment. Within each facility, a backlog of outdated equipment skewed technology planning toward sporadic equipment replacement rather than maintenance throughout the life cycle.
The health system used STEP to assess the current state at 13 representative hospitals across eight clinical areas and, with added help from the Sg2 team, benchmarked the health care system’s technology offerings against four similar international public health care systems. Based upon this assessment, the organization was able to build service line–specific technology plans and identify missing technologies within each service area. Information generated from STEP also supported the development of a pragmatic framework for technology adoption. Following this project, the health system received an additional $63 million in government funding to support further technology investment activities.
How does this relate to your service line initiatives? Regardless of your organization’s breadth or depth, STEP can help identify gaps in clinical offerings both at the hospital and the system level, as well as pinpoint those technologies that can be used across service lines.
Take the First STEP Toward Successful Tech Analysis
- Choose a project champion. One person from your organization should serve as the project champion to manage the implementation of the updated STEP tool. The champion should have access to all the resources needed to fill out the technology inventory list.
- Complete a technology inventory. Begin technology planning by assessing existing technologies, while taking into account equipment age and location. Determine the program type (eg, basic, intermediate, comprehensive) for each of your clinical areas to establish a benchmark for planning.
- Identify those technologies that are missing at your institution. If they are available elsewhere in your network, should you duplicate them at your facility or can you send patients to your sister site?
- Think about your plans to grow each service line. Identify which technologies are not available but will be required to grow your clinical capabilities. Identify which technologies have application across multiple service lines. Use these ideas to help determine priorities for investment.
No matter what stage you are in assessing your technology needs, Sg2 can help. To get started, contact us today.