HIQA publishes updated guidelines for assessing the clinical effectiveness of health technologies

Date of publication:

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has published updated guidelines on the conduct of health technology assessment (HTA) in Ireland. The 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 guidelines published today are part of a suite of guidelines for health technology assessment. The updated clinical effectiveness guidelines outline the appropriate methods for evaluating the clinical effectiveness of health technologies. The guidelines are aimed at improving the accuracy and relevance of HTAs that are undertaken for the Irish healthcare system.

Dr Conor Teljeur, HIQA’s Chief Scientist, said: “A considerable proportion of the health budget each year is invested in new technologies and programmes. Funding decisions should be based on sound evidence, and there should be reassurance that those decisions will deliver care that is both patient focussed and achieves value for money. Health technology assessment provides a framework for a comprehensive evaluation of the evidence. A critical element is how clinical outcomes are evaluated in a HTA, and these guidelines show how this can be achieved.”

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: “HIQA has developed these guidelines on the conduct of HTA in Ireland to ensure consistency in the HTAs undertaken by HIQA and others. The updated guidelines reflect changes to methodology and best practice. The guidelines are 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.”

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:

  • These 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.
  • The guidelines were published in draft form in October 2018 as part of a four week public consultation. Any member of the public or organisation could participate in the consultation.
  • 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.