Friday, November 21, 2008

With Robotics, Perception Trumps Reality

Paul Levy, President and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA explains:
Without making any representations about the relative clinical value of this robotic system versus manual laparoscopic surgery, I am writing to let you know we have decided to buy one for our hospital. Why? Well, in simple terms, because virtually all the academic medical centers and many community hospitals in the Boston area have bought one. Patients who are otherwise loyal to our hospital and our doctors are transferring their surgical treatments to other places. Prospective residents who are trying to decide where to have their surgical training look upon our lack of the robot as a deficit in our education program. Prospective physician recruits feel likewise. And, these factors are now spreading beyond urology into the field of gynecological surgery. So as a matter of good business planning, concern for the quality of our training program, and to continue to attract and retain the best possible doctors, the decision was made for us.
And they wonder why health care costs are so high?


Addendum: Here's Mr. Levy's first post questioning the technology.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know a few hospitals that have DaVinci's collecting dust. It's stupid of the CEO to purchase ANY equipment that will likely not be fully utilized. Some hospitals are getting 2nd and 3rd systems. The fancy systems make economic sense if they get used often. This Boston hospital sounds like they are way behind the curve and they may never catch up. The better thing to do is just to admit that they have lost the race in laparoscopic surgery and will probably never catch up, instead of wasting $1.5 million.