The World Health Organization (WHO) uses the broader term ‘health technology’, to include: ‘devices, drugs, medical and surgical procedures – and the knowledge associated with these – used in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease as well as in rehabilitation, and the organizational and supportive systems within which care is provided.
Categories of Equipment and Technologies described as ‘Healthcare Technology’ medical equipment walking aids health facility furniture communication equipment training equipment office equipment office furniture fixtures built into the building plant for cooling, heating, etc service supply installations equipment-specific supplies fire-fighting equipment workshop equipment fabric of the building vehicles laundry and kitchen equipment waste treatment plant energy sources.
All hospital managers want to get the most out of their investments in health technology. But that is a tough game.
To enable proper management hospital management, they need to actively manage their health system assets, ensuring that they are used efficiently and optimally. All management takes place in the context of hospital policies and finances. If these are favorable, the management of health service assets can be effective and efficient, and this will lead to improvements in the quality and quantity of healthcare delivered, without an increase in costs.
The health service’s most valuable assets are its human resources, physical assets, and other resources such as supplies. Physical assets such as facilities and healthcare technology are the greatest capital expenditure in any health sector. Thus it makes financial sense to manage these valuable resources, and to ensure that healthcare technology: is selected appropriately, is used correctly and to maximum capacity and lasts as long as possible. Such effective and appropriate management of healthcare technology will contribute to improved efficiency within the health sector.
The result – an improved and increased health outcomes, and a more sustainable health service.
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