13-Nov-2015 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter presents
Health Technology Assessment: A Systematic Collaborative Approach to assessing Healthcare Technologies for Effective Clinical Decision-Support in Practice

  November 13, 2015
  1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Newfoundland Time
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Featured Speaker: Tonya Somerton BN RN MTM, Division Manager, Surgical Services/ Children’s Women’s Health Programs Carbonear General Hospital.

The Canadian healthcare system is a government-funded organization supported both federally and provincially (Health Canada, 2015). In Newfoundland and Labrador, the healthcare system also receives millions of dollars annually through the operations of healthcare foundations and auxiliaries, and via direct public donation. To be fiscally responsible when using publicly funded money, hospital decision makers have the complex task of deciding how they will best allocate resources within fixed budgets. In a time of finite resources and continually increasing opportunities in healthcare treatment, every healthcare organization faces challenges around decisions regarding which healthcare technologies to support and introduce into clinical practice. These decisions are sometimes made without using a structured assessment approach, and some are decided using limited information and “best guess” methods. Decisions have been based on political agendas and public pressure versus organizational strategic priorities. Without a systematic approach to assessment, it is possible that medical technologies may be acquired that cannot be utilized to their full capability or that are not compatible with other existing technologies, resources, work processes, or practice approaches.

Health technology assessment (HTA), the systematic evaluation of properties, effects, and/or impacts of health technology, is increasingly being conducted by hospital-based interdisciplinary groups using a variety of analytical decision frameworks and methods (Kristensen et al., 2009). Of the four models used globally at the local level, it is apparent that most organizations use the HTA Unit Model because it is a stand-alone, unbiased unit that can coordinate and support hospital-based HTA (Health Technology Assessment international [HTAi], 2007). Eastern Health, the largest integrated health organization in Newfoundland and Labrador is currently utilizing a method that closely aligns with the Internal Committee Model. However, this model lacks transparency, consistent approach, and the tools necessary to support analytical decision making.

A literature review to establish the best practice in addition to the quantitative and qualitative research collected at Eastern Health has identified multiple elements of HTA that provide opportunity for process improvement within the organization. The goal of this research was to develop recommendations that could support an evidence-based decision-support program that follows a systematic, analytical, collaborative process for local level technology assessment that would standardize the approach used throughout the organization, assisting administrators to make informed decisions consistently regarding health technology acquisition. The opportunities identified have led to a framework for improving hospital-based HTA. The recommendations made and the outlined improvement framework, are the basis for a high quality HTA and decision-making process for Eastern Health and for any other healthcare organization.

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Tonya Somerton is a Registered Nurse who graduated in 2001 with her Baccalaureate Degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland. Tonya has practiced in Acute care her entire career focusing mainly on Critical & Emergency Care. She has been a Manager at Carbonear Hospital since 2007 and is responsible for all of the services under the Surgical Services & Children’s Women’s Health Programs at Carbonear General Hospital in Carbonear, NL. This past may Tonya completed a Masters in Technology Management during which her research focused on Health Technology Assessment and Prioritization.

Attendance at this program entitles certified Canadian College of Health Leaders members (CHE / Fellow) to 1 Category I  credits toward their maintenance of certification requirement.