Keywords: healthcare technology, decision making, hospitals
Technology acquisition decision making revisited: lessons learned in an age of environmental uncertainty
High technology medical innovation remains implicated as one of the most significant driving forces behind the high costs of health care in the USA. In addition, health care organisations are faced with an increasingly complex and uncertain environment. How do these factors interrelate to affect decisions made to acquire high cost medical technology? Data was collected from hospitals in three states attempting to assess how environmental variables affect technology acquisition decision making. Among the important criteria are physician recruitment and retention and perceived competitive pressure. An analysis of the data reveals that technology is acquired as one means of reducing environmental uncertainty. Within a growing number of integrated health systems, collaboration acts to both control costs and reduce duplicative technology. In order for collaboration to be successful, a strong bond of trust must exist between decision makers in addition to any economic benefit derived from the union.