Objectives: Hospital-based health technology assessment (HTA) has become increasingly important in Brazil due to its strategic importance to promote adoption, incorporation, dissemination, and disinvestment of technologies. A strategy to foster hospital-based HTA was implemented in 2009 by creating hospital-based HTA nuclei (NATS) at university hospitals and other strategic hospitals.
Methods: Between 2011 and 2012, we interviewed board members in twenty-three NATS located in all geographic regions of Brazil to assess their general characteristics, scientific output, and challenges.
Results: Of the total, 65 percent of the NATS belonged to teaching institutions, with 44 percent associated with federal universities. The bulk of their output was in the form of mini-HTA reports. Centers in the Southeast and South of Brazil had the highest production compared with other regions. Lack of expertise and low levels of advanced training were identified as limiting factors in the majority of centers.
Conclusions: The experience of the initial twenty-three NATS could be considered positive and has led to the creation of new ones around Brazil. Regional disparities in workload, production, and technical training should be targeted by new policies toward hospital-based HTA in Brazil. The limits and possibilities for intensifying the strategy relate to continuous investment in priority studies, which simultaneously, allow professionals who work in hospitals to receive continued education and produce relevant HTA work in a timely manner.