Emerging tools in decision making in HTA
On June 16, the 12th annual meeting of HTAi held in Oslo, Dr. Andrew Oxman made his presentation entitled “Using HTA: needs of decision makers, clinicians and patients”, addressing in his speech the wide range of expectations from the different stakeholders regarding the evaluation of health technologies assessment (HTA), who are the main decision makers and how they may participate in the knowledge production process and apply the results in practice; therefore, resulting in a better interaction with users.
Dr. Andrew Oxman works as a researcher in the health care field on the Global Health Unit of the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for Health Services. He finished his degree in 1979 in the United States, then worked as a general practitioner in northern Norway. He was editor of the Cochrane Reviewers’ Handbook 1993 to 2003 and chaired the Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group from 1998 to 2000. Editor of the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organization of Care Group since 1994. His work over the last three decades have focused on finding means to facilitate decision-making in the health system. His current research line aims to promote the use of scientific evidence on the orientation of decisions concerning the adoption of measures in health care in developing countries.
Concerning decision-making process in HTA, numerous tools and projects emerged on the last years on the information systems field, allying the production of evidence-based data and the review of the applicability of those. Among these we highlight some projects:
The so-called summaries of findings are tables that provide an estimate of the size of the effect of an intervention in each of the outcomes of major interest, together with the evaluation of certain evidence of each of these estimates; these being data based on systematic reviews.
The aim of the iSoF is to improve the understanding and the use of evidence of the effects of interventions in health care by allowing knowledge producers to elaborate presentation of data to a target audience, and the users to interact with these findings contributing their practice and getting more information about basic or specific concepts through explanations disclosed.
It is part of the Developing and Evaluating Communication Strategies to Support Informed Decisions and Practice Based on Evidence (DECIDE), a 5-year project co-funded by the European Commission in order to disseminate evidence-based recommendations and evaluate the methods referred to the spreading of the guidelines.
From English “pretty darn quick,” PDQ-Evidence is a project that aims to promote access to systematic reviews about results based on evidence related to health systems, with the potential to assist in decision-making as it allows the connection between the systematic reviews, panoramas and primary studies. With its database continually being updated and the broad access due to the vast repertoire of languages, it becomes an important and efficient search method in HTA area.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has an important educational, learning and professional development activity through online materials available to facilitate the understanding and application of evidence-based practices online with what is recommended by the NICE guidelines.
The educational process is diffused through features such as slide shows, podcasts and clinical case discussions, making accessible knowledge acquisition, paradigm shift, practice updates and thus allowing to take more effective and assertive decisions.