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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Hospital-based health technology assessment (HTA) in Finland: a case study on collaboration between hospitals and the national HTA unit

Esa Halmesmäki, Iris Pasternack, Risto Roine
Health Research Policy and Systems 2016 April 5, 14: 25
27044400

BACKGROUND: This study examines, as a part of the European Union funded Adopting Hospital Based Health Technology Assessment (AdHopHTA) project, the results and barriers of collaboration between Finnish hospitals and the national health technology assessment (HTA) agency, Finohta. A joint collaborative HTA program has existed since 2006 between the Finnish hospitals and the national agency.

METHODS: A case study method was used. Information about the collaboration between Finnish hospitals and Finohta was retrieved from interviews and publications, and categorised per theme. Hypotheses and indicators of successful collaboration were determined beforehand and reflected on the observations from the interviews and literature.

RESULTS: Overall, 48 collaborative HTA reports have been performed during 7 years of collaboration. However, there were no clear indications that the use of HTA information or the transparency of decision-making regarding new technologies would have increased in hospitals. The managerial commitment to incorporate HTAs into the decision-making processes in hospitals was still low. The quality of the collaborative HTA reports was considered good, but their applicability in the hospital setting limited. There were differing expectations about the timing and relevance of the content. Signs of role conflict and mistrust were observed.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite collaborative efforts to produce HTAs for hospitals, the impact of HTA information on hospital decision-making appears to remain low. The difficulties identified in this case study, such as lack of managerial commitment in hospitals, can hopefully be better addressed in the future with the guidance and tools having been developed in the AdHopHTA project. Collaboration between hospitals and national HTA agencies remains important for the efficient sharing of skills and resources.

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