Decision makers' perceptions of health technology decision making and priority setting at the institutional level

Australian Healthcare Association
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Health Review, 2008, 32 (3), pp. 520 - 527
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This study describes health care decision makers' perceptions about decision making processes for the introduction, diffusion and prioritisation of new health technologies at the regional and institutional level. The aim of the study was to aid the design of a new process of technology assessment and decision making for the Northern Sydney and Central Coast Area Health Service (NSCCAHS). Twelve in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with senior health service managers, nurse managers and senior medical clinicians in the NSCCAHS. Interviewees described prioritisation and decision-making processes as "ad hoc". Safety and effectiveness were considered the most important criteria in decision making but budgetary consideration often drove decisions about the uptake and diffusion of new technologies. Current dissatisfaction with decision- making processes creates opportunities for reform, including the introduction of consistent local technology assessments.
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