The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has published updated guidelines on the conduct of health technology assessment (HTA) in Ireland to assist decision-makers in evaluating the effectiveness of health technologies.
Due to the limited health budget in Ireland, investing in a new technology could lead to ceasing or reducing funding for another technology or service. The purpose of HTA is to provide independent evidence to ensure that this choice is supported by accurate and reliable evidence.
Dr Conor Teljeur, HIQA’s Chief Scientist, said: “Each year a substantial portion of the health budget is invested in new technologies and programmes. It is essential that funding decisions are based on sound evidence and that there is reassurance that they will deliver care that is both patient-focussed and achieves best value. Health technology assessment can provide an accurate evaluation of the evidence base. Of particular importance is how an assessment evaluates clinical outcomes, and these guidelines provide direction on that element of a HTA”.
The guidelines, which apply to assessments of all healthcare technologies, including pharmaceuticals, procedures, medical devices, broader public health interventions and service delivery models aim to improve the accuracy of HTAs undertaken for the Irish healthcare system.
Dr Teljeur continued: “The guide is intended to promote the production of assessments that are timely, reliable, consistent and relevant to the needs of decision-makers and key stakeholders in Ireland. As health and social care services are publicly funded in Ireland, these guidelines promote the best use of limited public money and resources in ensuring the needs of the people using services are met”.