Objectives: The aim of this study was to analyze the experience of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in identifying new procedures entering the United Kingdom (UK) healthcare system, for assessment and publication of recommendations on their use. This system is designed to provide guidance in an area where regulation is lacking worldwide.
Methods: Retrospective analysis of all procedures notified to the Interventional Procedures Programme (NICE) between 2002 and 2012. Notifications were analyzed year by year for their source (who notified them), clinical specialties involved, and whether guidance was subsequently published.
Results: A total of 1,094 procedures were notified by clinicians (51 percent), and by others, including hospitals (6 percent), horizon scanners (5 percent), patients (4 percent), private health insurers (4 percent), and medical device manufacturers (3 percent). Guidance was published on 44 percent of procedures notified to the program. There was a decrease in the numbers of procedures notified during 2003–2012 (p = .049). There were notifications across all specialties, with the largest numbers in general surgery (125), urology (104), orthopedics (99), interventional radiology (93), cardiology (82), and obstetrics and gynecology (82).
Conclusions: The “open” NICE Web portal allows anyone to notify new procedures, aiming to maximize the opportunity of identifying all those procedures entering clinical practice. This has resulted in identification of large numbers of procedures from across the whole range of medical specialties. The fact that similar proportions of procedures notified from diverse sources have been selected for assessment and publication of practice recommendations suggests that this inclusive approach is worthwhile.