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ECRI Institute Sees Upward Trend in Hospital Medical Technology Evaluation Activity
Date:10/19/2009

Activity from member hospitals may signal a positive sign for the economy

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ECRI Institute(R) (www.ecri.org), an independent nonprofit that researches the best approaches to improve patient care and offers procurement support to more than 2,000 U.S. hospitals, reports a significant increase in requests by its members for medical technology acquisition support, a strong signal that the economy may be improving. ECRI Institute member hospital research requests typically precede medical capital technology purchases. If the pattern holds that an economy starts growing before employment increases, this data appears to be a good economic signal.

"During the past year, we have seen an especially heavy emphasis on clear justification, from a clinical/business perspective, whatever capital purchases are taking place," notes Anthony J. Montagnolo, chief operating officer at ECRI Institute. "However, most recently, the number of significant technology acquisition-related projects is clearly on the rise."

As the domestic economy worsened in the fall of 2008, ECRI Institute noticed that requests for research and advice showed unusual variability compared to previous trending patterns. In January 2009, the nonprofit organization recorded procurement data inquiries at a level that was 10% lower than January 2008.

Procurement support requests gradually started rebounding between February and May of 2009. Since then, significant increases have been documented in the June through September 2009 period with a 15% increase in procurement-related support requests over the prior year, a record level of procurement research activity for ECRI Institute.

"The most dramatic drop-offs in requests, not surprisingly, were for the costly high-tech equipment purchases, like CT scanners or MRI systems," says Jennifer Myer
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SOURCE ECRI Institute
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