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The Spanish Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment (REDETS) is a group of eight agencies, units and services, depending on National and Regional Governments that coordinate their work within a common methodological framework, guided by the principles of mutual recognition and cooperation. In this work, guided by the necessity of implementing a Quality Management System, we present the process to achieve this objective.
As an initial step, a review was carried out based on a structured search strategy in the main electronic databases Medline and EMBASE, and a manual search in websites of national and international agencies (March 2016) in order to collate previous knowledge and experiences. Through the information included in this review, a proposal to create a quality, self-evaluating tool is necessary.
In total, 800 references were found and finally 6 studies were included in the review (1-3). All had a similar structure. Some lists of good practices, classified in dimensions related to different quality aspects in Health Technology Assessment (HTA) organizations, were found. Also some information about questions for evaluating quality standards was indicated. Taking all this information, a proposal of sixty-six standard titles was put forward. These standards were then grouped into twelve quality criteria structured in four dimensions: I Responsibility, II Clients and Stakeholders, III Production Process and IV Resources.
Based on the systematic review, we developed a proposal for a self-evaluating tool and this is the baseline for a common Quality Management System for the Spanish Network of HTA Agencies. The quality management process will require the development of a handbook by each member of REDETS that will be based on agreed quality standards.
The Spanish National Network (REDETS) is a group of eight agencies, units and services, depending on National and Regional Governments that coordinate their work within a common methodological framework, guided by the principles of mutual recognition and cooperation. The necessity of considering a Quality Management System has been detected and, consequently, a common tool for all the members needs to be developed. We describe in this study the process to achieve that goal.
Based on both a review of previous literature and the proposal for a self-evaluating tool, a group of experts from each agency through consensus have developed a tool for self-evaluation in Health Technology Assessment (HTA) agencies. Through the structure described in the handbook of the Andalusian Agency for Healthcare Quality (ACSA), each standard should have a statement or proposal that needs to also include evidence or good practices, and the corresponding evaluation questions. In separate workgroups, the definition of these proposals, evidence and evaluation questions were developed. One face-to-face meeting and two meetings via teleconference were necessary to achieve a final document with all the quality standards.
From a proposed structure of sixty-six standards, the titles, definitions, statements and evidence as well as good practices and evaluation questions were established in workgroups with consensus among all of the members (1 - 3). The final version of the self-assessment tool was composed of sixty-eight standards, grouped in twelve quality criteria structured in four dimensions: I Responsibility, II Clients and Stakeholders, III Production Process, and IV Resources.
Quality management requires an evaluation tool and this version, based on a systematic review and consensus, is a useful and practical instrument for developing a handbook by each member of REDETS. An online version of the tool is in process of development.
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