Objectives: The aim of this study was to facilitate effective internal and external communication of an international network and to explore how to support communication and work processes in health technology assessment (HTA).
Structure and Methods: European network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA) connected sixty-four HTA Partner organizations from thirty-three countries. User needs in the different steps of the HTA process were the starting point for developing an information system. A step-wise, interdisciplinary, creative approach was used in developing practical tools.
Results: An Information Platform facilitated the exchange of scientific information between Partners and with external target groups. More than 200 virtual meetings were set up during the project using an e-meeting tool. A Clearinghouse prototype was developed with the intent to offering a single point of access to HTA relevant information. This evolved into a next step not planned from the outset: Developing a running HTA Information System including several Web-based tools to support communication and daily HTA processes. A communication strategy guided the communication effort, focusing on practical tools, creating added value, involving stakeholders, and avoiding duplication of effort.
Conclusions: Modern technology enables a new information infrastructure for HTA. The potential of information and communication technology was used as a strategic tool. Several target groups were represented among the Partners, which supported collaboration and made it easier to identify user needs. A distinctive visual identity made it easier to gain and maintain visibility on a limited budget.