HTA is a tool for driving quality performance: better use of technology, people, resources and knowledge.
Medical technology has contributed to remarkable advances in health care and continues to play an important role in improving services and delivering them more effectively. However, technology contributes to increases in health care expenditure.
Developments in health technology are occurring at a rapid pace which creates a challenge for health systems to operationalise these technologies according to evidence-based practice and other disciplines including health economics. Overall, advances in medical technology have often provided value for money however the cost-effectiveness of individual technologies in practice varies widely and for some is unknown (Productivity Commission, 2005). Health technology and its management are therefore leading priorities for policy-makers, hospital managers and academic researchers.
The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Program in Queensland Health has been operational since June 2009 and was established to facilitate a coordinated and evidence-based process to inform policy, funding and clinical decisions on new health technologies in the public sector. HTA is a multidisciplinary field of scientific research to inform policy and clinical decision-making on the introduction and diffusion of health technologies. HTA studies the clinical, economic, organisational, social and ethical implications of health technology. The scope and methods of HTA may be adapted to respond to the policy needs of a particular health system. Priority areas for the HTA Program are aligned to the objectives of the Clinical Access and Redesign Unit which include: