Integrating Formal Technology Assessment into an Integrated Healthcare Delivery System: Smart Innovation

Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2020;36(1):58-63. doi: 10.1017/S0266462319003465.


Objectives: We designed, developed, and implemented a new hospital-based health technology assessment (HB-HTA) program called Smart Innovation. Smart Innovation is a decision framework that reviews and makes technology adoption decisions. Smart Innovation was meant to replace the fragmented and complex process of procurement and adoption decisions at our institution. Because use of new medical technologies accounts for approximately 50 percent of the growth in healthcare spending, hospitals and integrated delivery systems are working to develop better processes and methods to sharpen their approach to adoption and management of high cost medical innovations.

Methods: The program has streamlined the decision-making process and added a robust evidence review for new medical technologies, aiming to balance efficiency with rigorous evidence standards. To promote system-wide adoption, the program engaged a broad representation of leaders, physicians, and administrators to gain support.

Results: To date, Smart Innovation has conducted eleven HB-HTAs and made clinician-led adoption decisions that have resulted in over $5 million dollars in cost avoidance. These are comprised of five laboratory tests, three software-assisted systems, two surgical devices, and one capital purchase.

Conclusions: Smart Innovation has achieved cost savings, avoided uncertain or low-value technologies, and assisted in the implementation of new technologies that have strong evidence. The keys to its success have been the program's collaborative and efficient decision-making systems, partnerships with clinicians, executive support, and proactive role with vendors.

Keywords: Adoption; Assessment; Device; Hospital-based; Technology.

MeSH terms

  • Cost Savings
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / economics
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / organization & administration*
  • Efficiency, Organizational
  • Humans
  • Leadership
  • Medical Overuse / prevention & control
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical / organization & administration*