Objectives: Health technology assessment (HTA) carried out for policy decision making has well-established principles unlike hospital-based HTA (HB-HTA), which differs from the former in the context characteristics and ways of operation. This study proposes principles for good practices in HB-HTA units.
Methods: A framework for good practice criteria was built inspired by the EFQM excellence business model and information from six literature reviews, 107 face-to-face interviews, forty case studies, large-scale survey, focus group, Delphi survey, as well as local and international validation. In total, 385 people from twenty countries have participated in defining the principles for good practices in HB-HTA units.
Results: Fifteen guiding principles for good practices in HB-HTA units are grouped in four dimensions. Dimension 1 deals with principles of the assessment process aimed at providing contextualized information for hospital decision makers. Dimension 2 describes leadership, strategy and partnerships of HB-HTA units which govern and facilitate the assessment process. Dimension 3 focuses on adequate resources that ensure the operation of HB-HTA units. Dimension 4 deals with measuring the short- and long-term impact of the overall performance of HB-HTA units. Finally, nine core guiding principles were selected as essential requirements for HB-HTA units based on the expertise of the HB-HTA units participating in the project.
Conclusions: Guiding principles for good practices set up a benchmark for HB-HTA because they represent the ideal performance of HB-HTA units; nevertheless, when performing HTA at hospital level, context also matters; therefore, they should be adapted to ensure their applicability in the local context.