Published online by Cambridge University Press: 30 March 2015
Background: Evidence-based policy making is increasingly used for better resource allocation. Queensland Department of Health has developed a new model to introduce innovative health technologies through a health technology assessment (HTA) program.
Structure: A state-wide committee and several sub-committees at health service district level were established to oversee the HTA program and to monitor the uptake of technologies. The committees are supported by a multidisciplinary secretariat comprising staff with key HTA skills.
Process: The process starts with HTA applications, which are then shortlisted according to prespecified criteria. A due diligence process adopting a rapid evidence assessment approach is used to evaluate the applications. Based on the assessment, recommendations are made using a deliberative decision-making process guided by well-recognized tools. With positive recommendation, a technology is piloted in constrained local setting before its system-wide diffusion.
Outcome: The HTA program has assisted health administrators in prioritizing their health technology agendas. It has gained trust and wide support from policy makers and is increasingly used to support funding allocations, indicating the increasing awareness of and confidence in the program.
Conclusions: The HTA program is a valuable process to assist evidence-based policy development and to guide better resource allocation.