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Clearly, a precise tool does not now exist for making technological assessments. Yet, however imperfect the process might be, technology assessment is a valuable tool for use by doctors, health-care providers, and hospital administrators to control the increasing cost of health care. Technological assessment allows hospitals to evaluate the safety, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness before the commitment to purchase new equipment. As advancements in medical technology continue, the concerns associated with moral and ethical issues related to quality of life become increasingly difficult to assess. Hospitals must place the needs of the community and the quality of patient care ahead of profits and the purchase of new technologies. Stuart Poston, administrator of Murray-Calloway County Hospital, best concludes the authors' discussion with his view on the importance of technology assessment: "If you keep up with technology and buy quality equipment, you can enhance your medical staff and maintain a solid financial base. Then you can afford new equipment"
Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine, IEEE (Volume:15 , Issue: 5 )
Date of Publication: Sep/Oct 1996