Health Technology Assessment on the Net

TitleHealth Technology Assessment on the Net
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsChojecki D, Dennett L
Series TitleIHE Report
Pagination40 p.
InstitutionInstitute of Health Economics
ISBN Number978-1-897443-91-0
KeywordsResource Guides [Publication Type]; Technology Assessment, Biomedical
AbstractThe foundation for any health technology assessment (HTA) is information. In fact, health technology assessment is the synthesis of many pieces of information from many different sources. The purpose of an HTA is to provide health care decision-makers with the evidence they need to make informed decisions concerning the introduction, allocation and cost-effective use of medical technologies. Since its beginnings in the United States in the early 1970s, health technology assessment has expanded throughout the world. This growth has been accompanied by the development of many useful sources for HTA information. Some of these sources are produced by government and HTA agencies, while others are the products of centres involved in advancing evidence-based health care, such as the international Cochrane Collaboration. The amount of information on Internet is of course overwhelming and there is the additional problem that information can be biased, out-of-date or low-quality. The key to efficient searching is to know where reliable and relevant information can most often be found. This guide focuses on Internet sites, particularly those that may be useful for people involved in health care in Alberta, Canada, but health technology assessments will also incorporate data from other sources. These may include specialized bibliographic databases relevant to the subject of the assessment; data from government and regulatory agencies; administrative databases; industry studies, and advice from experts in the field. Traditional print resources, such as medical textbooks, may also provide background information. These sources will vary depending on the subject and scope of the assessment. People outside of Canada may wish to add sites (i.e. government, regulatory agencies, etc.) specific to their geographic context. The Institute of Health Economics does not undertake many drug evaluations. In Canada, these fall under the purview of the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH), and as such this guide does not comprehensively list drug information resources. For a more complete list, we recommend using CADTH’s Grey Matters checklist available from: Typically, a literature search for a technology assessment will begin with the major biomedical databases, such as PubMed or MEDLINE, and with searches to determine if other HTA agencies have already assessed this technology. Such information is easily accessible at the sites listed in this guide.