Although the overall slower rate of diffusion of MR imagers as compared with that of CT scanners a decade ago may in large part be a manifestation of a more cost-conscious and appropriate approach to the acquisition of new technologic equipment on the part of health care providers, the increased tendency to install MR imagers in outpatient settings rather than in hospitals may not be socially desirable for a number of reasons. To the extent that MR imagers are being installed in outpatient facilities devoted solely to MR imaging, the opportunity for correlation of information from various imaging methods may be lost. Full-time or part-time physicists to help operate MR imaging equipment may also be more difficult to support in outpatient rather than hospital facilities. Finally, quality-control and peer-review mechanisms may be stronger in hospitals than in free standing imaging facilities. On the other hand, the placement of MR imagers outside of hospitals could reduce labor and overhead costs and hence the cost per MR study. Continued monitoring of the pattern of diffusion of MR imagers and the beneficial and detrimental effects of inpatient as opposed to outpatient installations will help clarify which public policies affecting technologic medical advances are appropriate in the future.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||New England Journal of Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 1985|
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