Hospital executives shift attention to IT

May 22, 1996

There is good news and bad news in Linc Anthem's most recent annualsurvey of hospital equipment purchasing trends. The good newsis that hospitals are planning to acquire more equipment thisyear. The bad news, at least for scanner vendors, is that

There is good news and bad news in Linc Anthem's most recent annualsurvey of hospital equipment purchasing trends. The good newsis that hospitals are planning to acquire more equipment thisyear. The bad news, at least for scanner vendors, is that hospitalsappear far more interested in acquiring information technologysystems than diagnostic and therapeutic equipment.

Data processing and telecommunications equipment lead all othercategories in the types of equipment hospitals plan to purchasein 1996, according to the survey. Over 67% of respondents saidthat they plan to buy data processing equipment in 1996, comparedwith over 52% last year, while over 39% intend to buy telecommunicationsequipment, compared with just under 30% last year.

Within medical imaging, CT and cardiac catheterization labs arethe only modalities to show substantially increased purchasinginterest. About 22% of respondents are planning to buy a CT scannerin 1996, compared with almost 20% last year, while 14% are planninga cardiac cath lab acquisition, up from almost 11% in 1995.

Among the modalities showing the biggest losses are ultrasoundand nuclear medicine, according to the Linc Anthem survey. About22% of hospitals plan to buy ultrasound equipment, down from 30%in 1995. In nuclear medicine, over 13% are planning gamma cameraacquisitions, down from over 16% in 1995.

MRI is up slightly, with 9.7% of hospitals planning an acquisition,up a tenth of a percentage point from last year. X-ray droppedto 36% from 40% in 1995.

As expected, a high number of hospitals (63%) picked cost reductionas their most important objective, with increasing profits a distant27%. Interest in refurbished equipment slipped slightly, with60% of hospitals saying that they would consider acquiring refurbishedequipment, down from 62% the year before. Hospitals also reportedthat their access to capital improved in 1995.

For the survey, Chicago-based Linc received responses from 443hospital executives.