Estimating Cost of Ownership for Intensive Care Ventilators

April 29, 2014 | Evaluations & Guidance


When it comes to estimating the total cost of ownership for capital equipment, there are two figures to consider. The first is the up-front, or capital, cost of the device—the price you pay when you purchase it. The second is the sum of the ongoing costs associated with the device over its lifetime, including the cost of consumables, regular maintenance, and unexpected repairs. Those ongoing costs can add much more to the device’s total cost—and, sometimes, they can even dwarf the purchase price. Unfortunately, it’s often very hard to predict exactly how high a device’s ongoing costs will end up being.

Some manufacturers have commissioned studies on the cost of ownership of their own and competing devices. However, hospitals are often understandably cautious about drawing conclusions from a potentially biased source. Complicating things even further is the fact that it may not always be obvious when a study has been commissioned by a manufacturer, since some of them are performed by outside, independent groups. While these studies may be thorough, hospitals may still want to do their own research into the total cost of ownership of a device.

Recently, an ECRI Institute member hospital was trying to choose between three intensive care ventilators from three different manufacturers. The hospital asked ECRI Institute’s SELECTplus™ group to help estimate the total cost of ownership as part of the selection process. Below, we provide the findings of this analysis, and describe the process we used so that your facility can perform a similar analysis, taking into account your own clinical practice and ventilator usage data.

The member hospital was in the market for 50 high-end intensive care ventilators and was considering quotations from three manufacturers. To estimate the cost of ownership, we took the capital cost for each unit and added...

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