Although the personnel chapter is one of the highest for health organizations, we must consider that one of the factors with the greatest capacity to increase health spending is high cost technology. The use of this technology has often been excluded from cost analysis due to its influence on diagnostic and therapeutic processes, a fact that could be presented as a justified expense.
However, technological innovations must be subject to cost and replacement analysis for various reasons:
– Healthcare technology is sometimes not as effective as it might seem at first glance.
– The incorporation of technology does not take place in the most appropriate way. Frequently the expectations that are placed on the effectiveness of this are higher than the results actually obtained.
– The cost of investment is not usually the problem. This is reflected through replacement and maintenance costs.
– The speed at which healthcare technology changes requires detailed analysis of each of the elements in which we are willing to invest.
For this reason, a technology evaluation system should be established prior to implementation. This evaluation system should cover everything from the costs to the preparation of the professionals who have to deal with these new technological resources. The objective is to try to guarantee the greatest economic efficiency prior to the investment.
If it is true, economic interests are complex when the main stakeholders in the new technologies are the patients. Therefore, when undertaking the technological investment of a health centre, the interests of health professionals should not prevail over the interests of patients. In other words, the particular interest of a group of professionals in a given technological innovation must not prevail over the benefit of patients.
With the previous statements, we are referring to deeply considering the costs and benefits that the use of new technologies will generate on society in general and on the patient himself.