There has long been a stigma in life that higher cost equals higher quality. Pay more for your suit or shoes and they must be better than the lower cost alternative, right? Maybe. Maybe not.
The same stigma has been applied to healthcare. The more expensive a technology or device is, the better results healthcare purchasers equate to the quality results for patient care and for overall efficiency.
But in reality, we know that this is not the case. Lower cost alternatives can have the same quality results - if not better - than their costly rivals. In CT, and particularly when it comes to CT management, smart investments must be made, especially at a time when budgets are tight and mandates are adding pressure to CT radiation reduction.
So you will understand why I was struck by the seemingly obvious dichotomy in this year’s “Minnies” awards. Conducted by noted radiology publisher AuntMinnie.com, each year the “Minnies” recognize the top faculty, researchers, education programs, and developments in radiology for the year.
The discrepancy I see in the awards is between the tough economic situation described in the category of “Most Significant News Events in Radiology”, and the selection of very expensive CTs in the category of “Best New Radiology Device.”
The top significant news item is “Evidence confirms slowdown in growth rate of medical imaging use.” The “runner-up” in this category is, “Federal panel votes against Medicare coverage for CT lung cancer.”
In the Best Device category the winner was the dual source Somatom Force CT scanner from Siemens and the “runner-up” was the 256 slice Revolution CT scanner from GE – both are “premium” CT scanners with a very high price tag.
To me, “best” must balance results with the needs they address, and if technology or any purchase being made is not affordable, how can it be the best?
A similar line of thinking holds true when evaluating options to comply with low dose initiatives. Hospitals and imaging centers many times assume they have to pay more to get the best. However, that is far from true when it comes to lowering CT dose and still assuring high image quality.
As we head into RSNA, I ask you this - isn’t the best technology one that provides quality and efficiency, and is also cost effective? Would you invest significant budget in a new system when you could – using advanced CT image reconstruction – save your existing system and meet initiatives and quality demands with a cost effective investment?
I invite you to stop by Medic Vision’s booth at RSNA (#4335) and see firsthand how high-quality AND cost effective are being combined to deliver solutions that address radiology’s main concerns.