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Making sure the benefits outweigh the risks

March 01, 2015
From the March 2015 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Welcome to the March issue of DOTmed HealthCare Business News. This month, we’re presenting our annual C-arm industry sector report. We found that this year both flat panel and 3-D technology are seeing a dramatic rise in popularity. The coverage starts on page 54.

In our second industry sector report, we tackle special procedure rooms, which are playing an increasingly larger role in care, and we also discuss the potential to shift TAVR procedures in them (see story on page 64).

The new trends and issues regarding injectors and contrast agents are also examined in this issue on pages 54 and 50 respectively. On the contrast front, late-breaking news arrived about a study recently released linking intravenous iodinated contrast used during chest CT exams to DNA damage from radiation. The study made me think about the careful balancing act health care needs to perform in order to treat patients. With many procedures and treatments there are negatives involved, but they are eclipsed by the positives.

As in all such cases where potential risks outweigh the benefits, it’s a decision between the likelihood of the risk occurring versus the likelihood of a positive outcome. Common examples abound — they can be seen even in consumer advertising for widely used medications — the positive potential of drugs for depression, for instance, are then swiftly followed by a long list of potentially life-threatening possible side effects, some common, others extremely rare.

Moreover, in these days of value-based medicine, positive patient outcomes seem to have more challenges surrounding them than ever before. From the decrease in reimbursement to the increase in the tasks a doctor is expected to perform, including increased documentation of patient interactions, the challenges mount in all areas of health care delivery.

Still, the troubles are doubtless just temporary. It may just be that health care is slipping a little as it shifts gears into high speed. Fortunately, from conversations I’ve had over the years and certainly during the last few months, the health care industry understands that and partnerships are being forged to effectively deliver actionable solutions. The different arms of health care are starting to work together at an unprecedented level. Teamwork is increasing between surgeons and nurses for example. Doctors are starting to have more proactive discussions with patients about their care. And equipment manufacturers, software developers and service providers are listening more closely to the needs of health care professionals as they fight for the funds from decreased budgets.

It’s the last groups, the manufacturers and service providers, that we address in this issue’s annual DOTmed 100 listings. As usual, at least among independent service providers and third-party companies, the list represents a partial history of the industry in the past year. There are new names on the list — and some familiar ones have disappeared. In some instances, those changes have occurred due to a company spinning off — creating a new entity — or are due to a merger or acquisition that folds a company’s name and brand into a different company. Regardless, if your facility is in need of products or services, the DOTmed 100 is a good place to start your search.

Until next issue!

Sean Ruck
DOTmed HealthCare Business News

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