Linking evidence from health technology assessments to policy and decision making: The Alberta Model

Published on Apr 1, 2007in International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care1.418
· DOI :10.1017/S0266462307070250
Henry Z. Borowski1
Estimated H-index: 1
(AHS: Alberta Health Services),
Jon Brehaut1
Estimated H-index: 1
David Hailey31
Estimated H-index: 31
(U of C: University of Calgary)
Objectives: The objective of this study was to develop and implement a decision-making process for public funding of health services that links policy areas with health technology assessment and input from interested parties. Methods: Health authorities, assessment organizations, and healthcare professionals were consulted as a follow-up to recommendations of an expert panel established by the Alberta government. The methods involved formulation of an eight-stage, collaborative process that incorporates identification through the health ministry of health technologies requiring review, assessment of the technologies using expert groups in Alberta, and consultation and formulation of advice within the ministry to inform ministerial funding decisions. Results: All components of the decision process have been put in place and have collaborated to provide advice to inform policy on provincial health services. Of nineteen technologies selected for review, five have been completed and decisions made: laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, fetal fibronectin assay for premature labor, newborn screening for cystic fibrosis, newborn screening for inborn errors of metabolism, and gastric electrical stimulation. A further six reviews are in progress, and reviews of the remaining technologies are planned for 2007. Conclusions: Bridging the evidence-to-policy gap is more likely to succeed when the policy community is actively engaged and an explicit model is used to put health technology assessment into practice.
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