PMSs and health policy choices. The need for a health technology balanced assessment framework

Chirico Antonio, Palozzi Gabriele, Falivena Camilla

Commonly used as the multidisciplinary evaluation pathway of technical innovations in the health sector, Health Technology Assessment (HTA) represents the process which supports decision makers in order to obtaining the best achievements among all the possible intervention alternatives in healthcare. Biomedical engineers and clinicians usually run this process, considering mainly clinical and economic perspectives; thus, its main limit regards the lack of managerial competences in supporting the decision-making process at the base of the managing of a health organization’s performance. Accordingly, it is argued in this paper that a comprehensive performance management (PM) framework can help to design a multilevel process for the evaluation of health technologies (HTs) that combines different evaluation perspectives of business performance (both financial and no financial ones) with the clinical and ethical assessment needs of a hospital institution. More precisely, after the comprehension of the main features of the hospital-based HTA model and its potential implication with the management control activities in resources consumption, PMS framework (included those tool with a diagnostic and interactive use in management) will be used as the conceptual foundation for the development of the main argument. As a result, the Health Technology Balanced Assessment (HTBA) conceptual framework is presented and discussed. To this end, the strategic and measurement potentialities of PM are contrasted with the managerial needs of HTA, by drawing on the existing literature on the broad theme. Based on different choices for different perspectives and on the definition of appropriate key performance indicators (KPIs) for a structured assessment pathway, HTBA should bring: 1) a reduction in decision makers’ potentially misleading behaviours (related to external influences and pressures); and 2) a better multilevel balanced evaluation of HT; 3) a more structured pathway in coherence with the organization’s mission, context and values.

Key-Words: Health and care organizations, Performance Management (PM), Performance Management System (PMS), Health Technology Assessment (HTA), Health Technology (HT), Health Policy