The Authority undertook a series (currently four phases) of health technology assessments (HTAs) of scheduled surgical procedures at the request of the Health Service Executive. A scheduled surgical procedure is a pre-planned procedure where the patient has their admission and surgery at a predetermined time.
HTA of Scheduled Procedures Phase IV
The aim of these HTAs is to ensure a more efficient referral process, standardise the care provided and ultimately improve patient access to beneficial surgery. The HTAs make recommendations on referral and, or treatment thresholds for scheduled procedures following an extensive review of international best practice, consultation with an expert panel, and a public consultation by HIQA.
This series of HTAs is one of a number of initiatives in progress to tackle waiting lists and to provide access to services in a governed manner. The completed reports have been submitted as advice to the HSE and to the Minister for Health. Full copies of all reports are available through the links above.
This phase in the series of HTAs focused on referral thresholds for patients with upper and lower gastrointestinal symptoms who may require upper (OGD) or lower endoscopy (for example, colonoscopy) to rule out malignancy, and on referral thresholds for those who may require gallbladder removal, groin hernia repair or surgical intervention for haemorrhoids. The reports set out the minimum criteria a patient should meet before being referred for investigation or treatment. Use of these thresholds should lead to a more streamlined referral process, standardise the care provided and ultimately improve patient access to beneficial interventions. The HTA reports for this phase of the project were reviewed and approved by the Executive of the Authority after being made available for a period of public consultation. Originally requested by the Director General of the Health Service Executive, the completed evaluations were submitted to the HSE and to the Minister for Health for consideration.