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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Supporting decision making in cross-border regions: a health technology assessment tool for hospitals

Saskia Knies, Gloria Lombardi, Matt Commers, Hans-Peter Dauben, Silvia Evers, Kai Michelsen, Wija Oortwijn, Chibuzo Opara, Helmut Brand
International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care 2013, 29 (1): 71-8
23253106

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to develop an health technology assessment (HTA) decision tool to support the decision-making process on health technologies for hospital decision makers in cross-border regions.

METHODS: Several methods were used to collect information necessary to develop the cross-border mini-HTA decision tool. The literature was inventoried on HTA in border regions and local settings and the use of HTA by local decision makers. Semi-structured interviews with hospital decision makers in cross-border regions were also performed. Based on group discussion of the resulting information, it was decided to use the Danish mini-HTA guideline as a starting point for development of the decision tool. After finishing the first version of the decision tool it was tested in two pilot studies.

RESULTS: Some questions in the Danish mini-HTA guideline were not relevant. Other questions needed rephrasing and questions about cross-border situations were added. The pilots showed several missing topics, including legal questions and reimbursement issues. The final decision tool consists of three sections: a general section, a section for hospitals not cooperating cross-border and a section for hospitals that are cooperating with hospitals across a national or regional border.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on our literature search, this may be the first cross-border mini-HTA decision tool. The decision tool will be of help for healthcare professionals and decision makers in border settings who would like to use HTA evidence to support their decision-making process.

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