Selection of new health technologies for assessment aimed at informing decision making: A survey among horizon scanning systems.

Department of Health Economics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense C, Denmark.
International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care (Impact Factor: 1.55). 02/2006; 22(2):177-83. DOI:10.1017/S0266462306050999
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Uncertainty is pervasive in decision making on new health technologies; therefore, some countries have put systems in place to support decision makers with timely information. An important, but as yet undocumented, determinant of the potential value for decision making of these so-called horizon scanning systems (HSSs) is how the most significant health technologies are selected.
All thirteen member organizations of EuroScan, a collaborative network for HSSs, were surveyed and interviewed on how they prioritize technologies for assessment.
The majority of HSSs directly serves a customer. Some customers actively request early assessments of new health technologies, thereby diminishing the need for priority setting for the HSSs. All systems express a concern to miss an important technology and/or to select an unimportant technology. Almost all HSSs use explicit selection criteria, but these criteria hardly ever are operationalized. The number of criteria used varies, but costs and health benefit of the technology are always taken into account. The process of reaching a final decision is implicit, undocumented in all but one system, and is based on agreement by consensus.
The process of making the final decision on which technologies to assess can be improved by applying existing criteria more consistently and transparently. Current practice does not safeguard against missing an important technology. This finding is probably most important to act upon for systems with customers that do not actively request assessment of specific technologies.

0 0
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Natural resource management organizations carry out a range of activities to examine possible future conditions and trends as part of their planning process, but the distinct approach of formal horizon scanning is often a missing component of strategic thinking and strategy development in these organizations. Horizon scanning is a process for finding and interpreting early indications of change in the external environment of an organization or field. Effective horizon scanning serves as an early warning system to identify potential opportunities and threats, enable decisionmakers to plan accordingly and take timely action, and foster a culture of foresight throughout an organization. This paper reviews and discusses the key items needed to create an effective horizon scanning system: conceptual frameworks, organizational approaches, design principles, techniques to improve effectiveness, and techniques for analyzing and interpreting scanning results.
    General Technical Report. 09/2013; GTR-NRS-121:20.
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives: The aim of this study was to briefly describe the current state of early awareness and alert (EAA) activities and systems in four Latin-American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico). Methods: Key informants were selected and completed an open questionnaire that included the following domains: current state of EAA activities and systems in each country, potential role for EAA systems in the health system, and future EAA projects that are currently being considered. Results: In all four countries, health technology assessment (HTA) processes are used to prioritize the use of health resources, albeit at varying degrees and with different mechanisms and methodologies. EAA activities are still limited and there are virtually no institutions or units with specific functions explicitly devoted to EAA activity. However, most countries have developed some initial forms of EAA systems. Being in its initial stages there is no clear differentiation between these early awareness activities and other HTA functions, and no specific methodologies or processes are used to anticipate the emergence of new technologies. Consequently, early evaluation of technologies generally occurs in a reactive manner, after they have been introduced in the market and under the pressure of different stakeholders. Conclusions: There is growing awareness that the early identification and assessment of emerging technologies should be an integral part of HTA and the decision-making process. Many initiatives are currently focusing on building partnerships between the various regulatory bodies involved in the incorporation of technologies at national levels. It is reasonable to foresee that EAA activities will continue to develop and expand in the region.
    International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care 07/2012; 28(3):315-20. · 1.55 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Professional societies, like many other organizations around the world, have recognized the need to use more rigorous processes to ensure that health care recommendations are informed by the best available research evidence. Priority setting is an essential component of developing clinical practice guidelines informed by the best available research evidence. It ensures that resources and attention are devoted to those areas in which clinical recommendations will provide the greatest benefit to patients, clinicians, and policy makers. This is the second of a series of 14 articles that methodologists and researchers from around the world prepared to advise guideline developers in respiratory and other diseases. This review focuses on priority setting, addressing five key questions. Methods: In this review, we addressed the following questions. (1) At which steps of guideline development should priorities be considered? (2) How do we create an initial list of potential topics within the guideline? (3) What criteria should be used to establish priorities? (4) What parties should be involved and what processes should be used to set priorities? (5)What are the potential challenges of setting priorities? We updated an existing review on priority setting, and searched PubMed and other databases of methodological studies for existing systematic reviews and relevant methodological research. We did not conduct systematic reviews ourselves. Our conclusions are based on available evidence, our own experience working with guideline developers, and workshop discussions. Results and Discussion: Existing literature on priority setting largely applies to identifying priorities for which guidelines to develop rather than setting priorities for recommendations within a guideline. Nonetheless, there is substantial consensus about the general factors that should be considered in setting priorities. These include the burdens and costs of illness, potential impact of a recommendation, identified deficits or weak points in practice, variation or uncertainty in practice, and availability of evidence. The input of a variety of stakeholders is useful in setting priorities, although informal consultation is used more often than formal methods. Processes for setting priorities remains poorly described in most guidelines.
    Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society 12/2012; 9(5):225-228.