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The overarching goal of this research was to (i) evaluate the impact of reports with recommendations provided by a hospital-based health technology assessment (HB-HTA) unit on the local hospital decision-making processes and implementation activities and (ii) identify the underlying factors of the nonimplementation of recommendations.
All reports produced by the HB-HTA unit between December 2003 and March 2013 were retrieved, and hospital decision makers who requested these reports were solicited for enrolment. Participants were interviewed using a mixed design survey.
Twenty reports, associated with fifteen decision makers, fulfilled the study criteria. Nine decision makers accepted to participate, corresponding to thirteen reports and twenty-three recommendations. Of the twenty-three recommendations issued, 65 percent were implemented, 9 percent were accepted for implementation but not implemented, and 26 percent were declined. In terms of the utility of each report to guide decision makers, 92 percent of the reports were considered in the decision-making process; 85 percent had one or more recommendations adopted; and 77 percent had recommendations implemented. The most frequently mentioned reasons for nonimplementation were related to contextual factors (64 percent), production/diffusion process factors (14 percent), content/format factors (14 percent), or other factors (9 percent). Among the contextual factors, the complexity of the changes (i.e., administrative reasons), budget and resources constraints, failure to identify administrative responsibility to carry out the recommendation, and nonpriority status of the HTA recommendation, were provided.
This study highlights that although HB-HTA reports are useful to hospital managers in their decision-making processes, certain barriers such as contextual factors need to be better addressed to improve HB-HTA efficiency and usefulness.
Patients and families play an important role in preventing adverse events. The quality council at our hospital produced a communication tool in considering the main causes of adverse events and requested the health technology assessment (HTA) unit to validate it.
Assess the validity of the content of a tablemat sticker as an information tool for hospitalized patients.
A qualitative validation was first performed with individual interviews and focus groups to evaluate the understanding of the content. The tool was modified and as a second step, a survey was conducted on patients and their families from a surgical care unit to validate their understanding and relevance of the content.
From the survey, patients and families found the tablemat attractive and stimulating (97 percent). It encouraged them to communicate with staff about the safety of their care (84 percent). They understood well the objective (79 percent) and text (90 percent), but less for the pictograms (30 percent to 62 percent). The communication and recommendations to avoid falling were good and 99 percent were wearing the medical identification. However, it was not clear that these indicators represented the real concerns of the patients and healthcare staff because no user evaluation was done when developing the tool.
The tool was well understood, but some improvements are needed considering that pictograms were not always well understood and so need careful consideration from patient perspective. The HTA unit recommended conducting an unbiased survey to assess the concerns of patients and professionals to identify the most relevant indicators.