New technology, new treatments, and state-of-the-art care—these three areas continue to be a challenge to oncology administrators across the nation. Trying to stay on the cutting edge of technology can sometimes lead to a hemorrhaging of limited funds. With the continuing increase in wage and compensation for skilled professionals and the decrease in funding from third-party payers, there is a limited amount of capital left to upgrade existing equipment, let alone embark on a new technology path. It is therefore critical to take a hard look at how these limited funds will be used.
This issue of The Journal of Oncology Management highlights technology from evaluation through the design and developmental phases. Technology acquisition is more than a clinical practice decision. When making a decision, a balance is needed between the clinical and the nonclinical, the risks and the benefits. A thorough examination of clinical, programmatic, and financial aspects is needed.
One fact is a given: Technology will continue to evolve on a consistent basis. We will continue to progress in screening, diagnostics, medical therapy, and radiation therapy technology. We will also continue to see the evolution of computer-assisted devices. The challenge to oncology administrators and practice managers is to look at the risks and benefits, compare these with the financial pro forma, and make an educated decision. It is not advisable to invest in new technology just because a local competitor has done so. It is not advisable to invest in new technology that has not proven to be advantageous to the institution or patients. What is advisable is to do the research and be sure to get the most out of your limited amount of capital.
As a valuable oncology resource to you, our members, feel free to network and contact other ACOA members to learn of their experience before your limited amount of capital vanishes.