The Federal District in Brazil has about 2.9 million inhabitants and the public health system is focused on medical specialties, with one university hospital and twenty regional hospitals. This ecosystem is favorable for fostering health technology assessment (HTA) to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health care. The objective was to identify institutions that could form a HTA network to support decision-oriented evidence in the public health system.
Stakeholders from the hospitals and training/research institutions in the Federal District were surveyed. An online questionnaire (Google Docs) was developed to identify the potential and capacity of institutions to analyze or produce clinical and economic evidence. Two HTA seminars were held to spread knowledge about HTA and to encourage stakeholders to complete the survey.
The questionnaire response rate was thirty-five percent (25/70). Fifteen institutions were cited by the respondents as having the potential to build a HTA network. Twelve of the institutions produced rapid reviews and clinical guidelines, but only three of these had an organized priority setting process or produced assessments at the request of the hospital manager. The challenges identified were training and willingness of decision makers to organize HTA units in the hospitals.
An executive group was created which defined a strategy to support the implementation of HTA units as part of the HTA National Network (REBRATS). A regulation proposal was also created to encourage decision makers to activate a HTA network in the Federal District.