ECRI Institute issues 2012 technology watch list for hospital execs

ECRI Institute, an independent nonprofit that researches the best approaches to improving patient care, has listed 10 health technology issues that hospital leaders should have on their watch lists for 2012.

This year’s top 10 C-Suite watch list includes:

  • Electronic health records   
  • Transcatheter heart valve Implantation
  • Digital breast tomosynthesis
  • New CT radiation reduction technologies
  • Transcatheter heart valve implantation
  • Robotic-assisted surgery
  • New cardiac stent developments
  • Ultrahigh-field-strength MRI systems
  • Proton beam radiation therapy
  • Personalized therapeutic vaccines for cancer

According to ECRI officials, this year’s list draws upon the institute’s 43 years of experience evaluating the safety, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of health technologies, and through the comparative effectiveness and health technology assessment work of its Evidence-based Practice Center.

[See also: ECRI picks top 7 health plan IT trends to watch.]

Technology issues on this year’s list span a variety of clinical and operational areas, including health IT, cardiovascular implants, minimally invasive surgical advancements, cancer therapies and imaging and radiology services. According to the report, careful consideration of all the factors affecting whether and how to adopt these interventions will be crucial for short- and long-term strategic planning, cost-effective implementation, and optimal safety and effectiveness for patients.

“Technology is increasingly a top management concern, and is no longer confined to clinical and technical decision making,” said ECRI Institute president and CEO Jeffrey C. Lerner.  “Themes emerging on our 2012 list reflect ongoing impacts of healthcare reform initiatives and new technology developments that emphasize patient-centered care.

“This list addresses safety improvements, interconnectedness of technology, personalized medicine tailored to individual care characteristics and preferences, and increasing cost pressures,” he added.

ECRI Institute’s top 10 lists are designed to help hospital leaders prioritize their efforts, said ECRI officials.

[See also: ECRI to poll healthcare leaders on data exchange.]

ECRI Institute’s new report, “Top 10 C-Suite Watch List: Hospital Technology Issues for 2012,” is available for free download here.

It complements ECRI Institute’s Top 10 health IT hazards report, which was issued separately and can be found for free download here.

Follow Diana Manos on Twitter @DManos_IT_News.