HIQA publishes guidelines for assessing the effectiveness of health technologies

Date of publication:

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has today published updated guidelines on the conduct of health technology assessment (HTA) in Ireland. The updated Draft Guidelines for Evaluating the Clinical Effectiveness of Health Technologies in Ireland will assist decision-makers in evaluating the effectiveness of health technologies. Clinical effectiveness describes the ability of a technology to impact on a patient’s health. 

The health budget in Ireland is limited. To invest in a new technology means that it may be necessary to stop or reduce funding for another technology or service. To make that choice, it is important that accurate and reliable evidence is presented to support decision making. The goal of HTA is to provide that independent evidence.

Dr Conor Teljeur, HIQA’s Chief Scientist, said: “Each year a substantial portion of the health budget is invested in new technologies and programmes. It is essential that funding decisions are based on sound evidence and that there is reassurance that they will deliver care that is both patient-focussed and achieves best value. Health technology assessment can provide an accurate evaluation of the evidence base. Of particular importance is how an assessment evaluates clinical outcomes, and these guidelines provide direction on that element of a HTA.”  

The guidelines aim to improve the accuracy of HTAs undertaken for the Irish healthcare system. The guidelines apply to assessments of all healthcare technologies, including pharmaceuticals, procedures, medical devices, broader public health interventions and service delivery models.

Dr Teljeur continued: “To ensure consistency in the HTAs undertaken by HIQA and others, HIQA has developed these guidelines on the conduct of HTA in Ireland. The guide is intended to promote the production of assessments that are timely, reliable, consistent and relevant to the needs of decision-makers and key stakeholders in Ireland. As health and social care services are publicly funded in Ireland, these guidelines promote the best use of limited public money and resources in ensuring the needs of the people using services are met.”

Anyone with an interest in HTA is now being asked to provide feedback on the Draft Guidelines for Evaluating the Clinical Effectiveness of Health Technologies in Ireland. The closing date for feedback is 5pm on Friday 23 November 2018.

The guidelines are available from the link below.


For further information please contact:

Marty Whelan, Head of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement

01 814 7480 / 086 244 7623 mwhelan@hiqa.ie

Notes to the Editor:

  • To take part in the public consultation, please email your feedback to consultation@hiqa.ie.
  • These draft guidelines were informed with technical input from the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics, in consultation with its Scientific Advisory Group.
  • HIQA is the statutory organisation in Ireland with a responsibility to carry out national health technology assessments (HTAs) and to develop guidelines for the conduct of HTAs across our healthcare system.
  • HIQA has a statutory remit to evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of health technologies, providing advice to the Minister for Health and to the Health Service Executive (HSE).
  • HTA is evidence-based research, widely used internationally to assess the costs and benefits of healthcare treatments. The aim of HTA is to guarantee the best use is made of resources through rationing by design.
  • These guidelines are intended to be viewed as a complementary document to the Guidelines on Economic Evaluation of Health Technologies in Ireland and the Guidelines for Budget Impact Analysis of Health Technologies in Ireland.