Health Technology Assessment (HTA)

A Health Technology Assessment (HTA) includes a systematic and transparent evaluation of the scientific literature regarding patient benefits and harm of new and old technologies in healthcare.

The certainty of evidence is assessed using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE). To provide a comprehensive basis for decision making, i.e. the introduction or the withdrawal of the technology at issue, organizational, economical, and ethical aspects are also explored.

HTA-centrum in Region Västra Götaland provides support to activity-based HTAs. This concept refers to a process where the question at issue comes from healthcare, and clinicians are engaged in the performance of the HTA guided by our HTA experts.

Quality Assurance

At least two external peer reviewers are assigned to each HTA. Furthermore, a Quality Assurance Group, consisting of regional clinicians and experts, has an advisory role to HTA-Centrum and takes part in the peer-review process that precedes the publication of each HTA. The Quality Assurance Group also contributes to the development of the HTA process.

The Quality Assurance Group usually meets on the last Wednesday of each month.

Background 

Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is the systematic and transparent evaluation of healthcare practices and technologies, culminating in an HTA report. HTA reports provide the basis for decisions on the introduction or withdrawal of healthcare methods. The HTA process involves an evaluation of the scientific evidence, focusing on effects and risks that are important for patients.

  • HTA-centrum was established by an executive decision on 2007-08-29 and was preceded by a project assignment from 2005 to 2007.
  • HTA was introduced in the form of operations-based HTA, which means that the question primarily comes from the operating area and that representatives of the operating area, together with HTA-Centrum, carry out the evaluation.
  • A regional HTA Quality Assurance Group was appointed to provide interdisciplinary and inter-professional quality assurance of completed HTA projects and cited literature.

HTA-centrum is a regional support organization with the mission to enable operations-based HTA.

An HTA project collects and structures information for decision-making on new medical technologies.

An HTA compares one (often new) technology with another (often existing) technology. HTAs can also be used for monitoring and for decision support when revising an existing medical technology, for example before a decision on possible phase-out.

The HTA process involves a series of questions about the particular technology, including patient benefits, risks and ethical aspects. Organizational, economic and ethical aspects are also addressed.

HTA should be a simple and easily accessible evidence-based knowledge base, which can be used in many different contexts, e.g. for the creation of guidelines at local, regional and national level.

Assessment of the overall strength of evidence

The basis for assessing the evidence base for a technology is a systematic review of scientific, published articles comparing a new technology with either an existing technology or no technology. HTA can also refer to the assessment of the possible phasing out of methods and technologies.

The articles identified through a systematic literature review are evaluated using specific review templates, including assessment of the quality of the articles.

Finally, an overall assessment is made of the reliability of the scientific evidence leading to conclusions (according to GRADE), i.e. how confident we are in the results.

The HTA-centrum follows the SBU principles and checklists in this work.

Assignment

HTA-Centrum provides support for: 

  • Defining the question at issue (PICO) and literature searches
  • Methodological support for the systematic review and meta-analyses
  • Health economics expertise
  • Quality assurance

Reviewer 

Are you interested in becoming a reviewer? For information, see the following links (in Swedish).

Granskningsutlåtande - frågor till dig som granskare i projekt 

Att vara granskare av HTA-rapport 

Nominate a project 

Use the following link (in Swedish) to nominate a project for HTA.

Här kan du lämna in din nominerade fråga.