Basics of Health Technology Assessment
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This chapter begins with a brief introduction to health technology assessment (HTA). HTA is concerned with the systematic evaluation of the consequences of the adoption and use of new health technologies and improving the evidence on existing technologies. The objective of mainstream HTA is to support evidence-based decision and policy making that encourage the uptake of efficient and effective health care technologies. This chapter provides a basic framework for conducting an HTA, as well as some fundamental concepts and challenges in assessing health technologies. A case study of the assessment of drug-eluting stents in Ontario is presented to illustrate the HTA process. Whether HTA is beneficial (supporting timely access to needed technologies) or detrimental depends on three critical issues: when the assessment is performed, how it is performed, and how the findings are used.
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