Whose Evidence is Most Important to You?

Posted by The Evidence Blog on April 26, 2012

Is your institution struggling to compare the clinical, operational, and financial value of new healthcare technologies? Weeding through the evidence is not an easy process simply because not all evidence is created equal. As you probably already know, good evidence can be hard to find.

Recently, we asked our provider clients to identify the most valuable sources of evidence they use when considering new healthcare technologies. You can see from the table that 42% of the respondents ranked published clinical trial data/evidence as the most important source. Not surprisingly, only 5% ranked information from manufacturers, vendors, and sales representatives as their #1 source of information. The remaining sources were split between governmental agencies, opinions or editorials, and in-house clinical trials.

Of the 271 respondents who answered the survey, 52% were in Clinical Services, 36% in Supply Chain/Value Analysis, and 12% in Finance, Operations, or General Research. As you can imagine, respondents in each category had different priorities. Those in Clinical Services were primarily interested in maximizing patient outcomes, managing healthcare delivery, and assessing trends along clinical service lines. Respondents from Supply Chain and Value Analysis were primarily interested in predicting financial and operational impact, managing physician preference items, and identifying specifications of new technologies. Respondents across all service lines were looking for ways to simplify Medicare guidelines, reduce healthcare delivery costs, and improve patient satisfaction.

Source of Information Ranked #1
Published clinical trial data/evidence 42%
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or other government agency 33%
In-house clinical trial experience 13%
Opinions/editorials from experts published in journals 7%
Information from manufacturer/vendor/sales representative 5%
TOTAL N=271

Proportion of providers ranking source of information as most valuable

Do you find these results surprising? We don’t. Hospitals and healthcare systems know that most vendor information usually doesn’t supply a balanced view of a new medical technology. Still, it’s been our experience that using the best available evidence to drive medical technology utilization and acquisition decisions does not happen automatically, and getting buy-in from all the major stakeholders can be tough. What about your institution? What evidence will you use to achieve world-class healthcare quality, improve patient outcomes, and realize cost savings?

Topics: Hayes Blog

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