Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
Assessment of health care technology. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1997, vol.2, n.5, pp. 363-372. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49891997001100017.
This report explains how and why to evaluate the technology employed in health care. This technology includes not only medicines, instruments, equipment, and procedures used directly on patients, but also the organizational models and support systems that make health care possible. During the various stages of a technologys life cycle, an assessment is made of several different characteristics, such as safety and effectiveness, clinical utility, economic impact, and effect on the organiztion and provision of services. Originally, the ways of assessing and testing technical methods were only of interest to manufacturers and service providers. Today, however, the interested parties include legislators, government officials, health administrators, researchers, industrial managers, and, certainly, patients and their families. Therefore, health technology assessment is a highly important activity and its promotion is an element of PAHOs technical cooperation with the Member States.