Developing Health Technology Assessment to address health care system needs
This article discusses the development of Heath Technology Assessment methods and HTA institutions, in regards to meeting the information needs of all levels and fields of health policy-making. On the one hand, HTA needs to expand and develop its methods. Although health products and health care services have been its preponderant focus to date, HTA should develop to increase its focus on the "technologies applied to health care" (i.e. the regulatory and policy measures for managing and organizing health care systems) and on policies in non-health care sectors. Such a knowledge synthesis for health policy should not necessarily be called HTA or conducted by narrowly defined HTA agencies. However, the trends observed in several European HTA agencies indicate the recognition of these development needs. Countries embarking on HTA should not consider establishing separate agencies for HTA, quality development, performance measurement, and health services development, but should rather combine these functions and goals into a common knowledge strategy for evidence-informed decision-making on health care and the health system.
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