We all understand how limited resources are within the NHS and all medical fields. And this is where health technology assessment (HTA) comes in.
What is HTA?
It refers to the systematic evaluation of property, effects and impacts of health technology. It a multidisciplinary process that evaluates the social, economic, organisational and ethical issues of a health intervention or technology.
In other words, by understanding HTA, policy decisions should be clearer. Referred to as an ‘organised knowledge’, the skills from HTA training come into their own when it comes to developing and managing medicines, medical devices, vaccines, procedures and systems with the aim to solve health problems and improve quality of life.
The importance of HTA training
There are ethical issues to be considered as well as considerations in relation to how samples are handled.
1 Understand cost and benefits
In the UK, just as there are in other countries, there is are arguments and counter-argument with regard to the cost of healthcare and who pays for it, and how it is paid for.
Clearly,an emotive issue when it comes to discussing health and money, the balance is sensitive.
HTA training does not solve these sensitives, nor offer a solution but for decision-makers, there is a need to balance cost and benefits, more so when new technologies, devices and procedures are being put in place.
HTA training leads to a better understanding of costs and benefits, important for the processes of introducing new technologies and whether they should or should not be funded by health systems.
HTA training examines the context of new technologies and the like but how do we assess and evaluate them? There are difficulties in being objectives when measuring one procedure against another that may very different.
This kind of training examines in detail the context of health assessment technology as it applies to current policies. It also teases out economic evaluation methods, two factors that combine to give you and your staff the core competencies they need.
#3 Highlight key competencies within your team
HTA training is key for highlighting key competencies in your team. It is a process which is documented and kept up to date. It is a competency-based training system, and this alone speaks volumes as to why HTA training is important for your company even if you are only on the fringes of this kind of activity.
It promotes a great understanding and competence when managing projects, as well as for those personnel directly or indirectly involved in working within the health sector.
#4 Improved overall performance
It is a sensitive issue and yet, as a nation, we want illnesses eradicated, we want a better understanding of the issues that affect our overall health.
But budgets are finite and everyone wants their equal share. But the problem is, there is rarely enough to fund everything. And thus, the need for a deeper understanding of health technology is needed.
In recent decades, health ‘technology’ has come so far from life-saving anti-clotting drugs to radical new procedures, such as keyhole surgery, that is less invasive and less expensive for hospital departments to offer.
The relationship between healthcare and budgets is complex, variable and constantly evolving. By showcasing HTA training as part of your company, you are sending a clear signal that your company has a grasp on the issues facing a constantly evolving health care system.
With an ageing population and increasing pressures on delivering a healthcare system that meets the need of a changing population, your company needs to have an in-depth understanding of the issues – and HTA training is just one tool to do that with.