Decision analysis for large capital purchases: how to buy a ventilator

Respir Care. 2001 Oct;46(10):1038-53.


We describe a formal decision-making procedure for purchasing intensive care ventilators. We adapted a general decision-making tool known as an additive, compensatory, multiattribute utility model. The model incorporates input from the various stakeholders in the decision. It identifies the factors that are important in the decision and the alternative decision options, weights the factors, ranks the alternative decisions on how well they serve the factors, and finally provides an overall score that identifies the best option. This model provides a more objective and analytical approach than is often used in purchasing decisions. The benefits include simplifying discussion among stakeholders and assisting administrators in justifying major purchase proposals.

MeSH terms

  • Capital Expenditures
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Intensive Care Units / economics
  • Ventilators, Mechanical / economics*