January 6, 2014

Stryker Corporation makes investment in patient safety

Patient safety is becoming a major priority for the health care industry. Many of us have heard or read horror stories about patients who underwent a surgical procedure, only to find out later that the surgeon had accidentally left a tool inside them. It is certainly not a diagnosis that anyone wants to receive. In fact, patients can end up suffering from internal scarring, infections and even death as a result.

Luckily, there are companies out there who are working on new ways to avoid this problem. In fact, one of them just took part in a major technology acquisition.

According to an article on Forbes, Stryker Corporation announced on New Year's Eve that it would acquire Patient Safety Technologies, Inc. for approximately $120 million.

Patient Safety Technologies is most well known for its Surgicount technology, which uses bar coding to help surgeons keep track of their tools, thus lessening the chance of them leaving something inside a person.

One would think that such a technology would be a no-brainer, but Forbes pointed out that, up until recently, there wasn't much or a market for it, even though Surgicount costs only $10 per surgery. Now, however, recent changes have forced more hospitals to reconsider. More patients are enrolling in high-deductible health insurance plans, and they have a reason to be more concerned about the cost of their care in the long term. In addition, the Affordable Care Act has put a new focus on care quality.

If this technology acquisition is a sign of improvements in the patient safety market, then many people will have reason to not to worry if they are to undergo surgery.