Objectives: Hospital Based Health Technology Assessment (HBHTA) practices, to inform decision making at the hospital level, emerged as urgent priority for policy makers, hospital managers, and professionals. The present study crystallized the results achieved by the testing of an original framework for HBHTA, developed within Lombardy Region: the IMPlementation of A Quick hospital-based HTA (IMPAQHTA). The study tested: (i) the HBHTA framework efficiency, (ii) feasibility, (iii) the tool utility and completeness, considering dimensions and sub-dimensions.
Methods: The IMPAQHTA framework deployed the Regional HTA program, activated in 2008 in Lombardy, at the hospital level. The relevance and feasibility of the framework were tested over a 3-year period through a large-scale empirical experiment, involving seventy-four healthcare professionals organized in different HBHTA teams for assessing thirty-two different technologies within twenty-two different hospitals. Semi-structured interviews and self-reported questionnaires were used to collect data regarding the relevance and feasibility of the IMPAQHTA framework.
Results: The proposed HBHTA framework proved to be suitable for application at the hospital level, in the Italian context, permitting a quick assessment (11 working days) and providing hospital decision makers with relevant and quantitative information. Performances in terms of feasibility, utility, completeness, and easiness proved to be satisfactory.
Conclusions: The IMPAQHTA was considered to be a complete and feasible HBHTA framework, as well as being replicable to different technologies within any hospital settings, thus demonstrating the capability of a hospital to develop a complete HTA, if supported by adequate and well defined tools and quantitative metrics.