Alberta health evidence reviews

Note: The Alberta Health Technology Decision Process (AHTDP) has been redesigned, and renamed as Alberta Health Evidence Reviews.

Health Technology Assessment

Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is a type of research done to determine what health care technologies, services, and models of care are most appropriate and sustainable for a given population. HTAs capture information on effectiveness, safety, cost-effectiveness, real-world practices, and budget impact, as well as the ethical, social, legal and policy implications.

Alberta uses HTA to inform health system decision-making and planning through its Alberta Health Evidence Reviews. These reviews are designed to provide balanced evidence and critical analysis that can be used to solve health system problems and challenges.

HTAs help improve health care services

Alberta Health Evidence Reviews are designed and conducted to meet the evidence needs of health care decision-makers and support the broader priorities of the health care system.

  • Reviews provide evidence, analysis, and an Alberta perspective to help decision-makers tackle problems in the health care system, and make progress on Alberta’s health care priorities.
  • Reviews look at how health care services can be delivered more effectively and efficiently in a certain part of the health care system, or for a specific disease or condition, instead of evaluating individual technologies and services for adoption.
  • Reviews are designed and customized to meet the evidence needs of a client – a health system decision-maker or planner who is willing and able to use the results to make change.

HTA Framework

How HTA topics are identified

  • Open nomination – Health care professionals, planners, and stakeholders who need evidence to tackle a health system problem or task should contact Alberta Health to request a review.
  • Targeted consultation – Alberta Health consults planners and decision-makers who are working on the health care system’s priorities to find out if they are facing problems or challenges that could benefit from HTA.
  • Data analysis – Alberta Health routinely analyzes data collected from across the health care system to identify duplication, waste, gaps in care, or areas of low efficiency that could be improved using an evidence-informed approach.

Screening and prioritization for review

Every topic identified is carefully considered to determine if it will benefit from an Alberta Health Evidence Review –

  • Is the review topic considered high-priority for the Alberta government and health care system?
  • Will the review have a wide-reaching and significant impact on how care is delivered?
  • Is there readiness and pressure for change?
  • Is there a health system decision-maker who can use review results to affect change?
  • What is the likelihood that change will happen?

HTA partners

Alberta Health collaborates with four arms-length, internationally recognized HTA and evidence producers to conduct reviews:

HTA products

Every review is designed to meet the needs of the health system client. Reviews can be customized with a range of evidence and information, including:

  • systematic reviews of effectiveness and safety
  • cost-effectiveness analyses
  • budget impact analyses
  • real-world evidence
  • implementation feasibility assessments
  • environmental scans
  • policy analyses

Advice from high-level health care leaders

The Alberta Advisory Committee on Health Technologies (AACHT) is a committee of high-level health system executives that provide direction and a broader health system perspective to Alberta’s Health Evidence Reviews. The committee is co-chaired by the Ministry of Health and Alberta Health Services.

Members of the committee include senior leaders from Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services, as well as high level representatives from the Alberta Medical Association, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta, and Canada’s Medical Technology Companies.

The AACHT:

  • advises on whether potential review topics are timely and a good fit for health system priorities, and
  • provides the perspectives of leaders from across the health care system on how best to use review findings to achieve change.

Knowledge translation supports

Alberta Health can help clients to communicate review findings to important audiences and stakeholders to build support for change. Alberta Health and its HTA partners offer customized reports and summary documents, presentation and publicity materials, educational tools and seminars, and other knowledge translation supports for specific audiences.

Implementation supports

Every review is selected, planned, and conducted with careful consideration for whether and how the results can be used to inform improvements in the health care system. Before starting any review, there must be a strong degree of certainty that the review findings can and will be used to affect change.

As part of the HTA Process, Alberta Health and the HTA partner conducting the review work with the client and other health system stakeholders to understand possible outcomes from the review, how these outcomes could be used to achieve changes in care delivery (possible implementation approaches), whether change is feasible, and what impacts this change could have on Albertans and the health care system. If requested, an optimal implementation approach can be proposed and developed using information obtained through evidence gathering, data modeling, health system capacity analysis, and consultation.

HTA reviews

Read ongoing and completed HTA review reports

Featured HTA review

  • Featured review – Endovascular Therapy For Ischemic Stroke
  • Conducted by – Institute of Health Economics
  • Client – Endovascular Therapy Provincial Implementation Working Group
  • Objective – To determine how best to provide ETIS in Alberta.
  • Methodology – Systematic literature reviews, grey literature review, consultation with expert advisory group, economic analysis and modeling.
  • Findings – The optimal model for providing EVT in Alberta combine two treatment and transportation strategies based on the geographical location of stroke onset.
  • Outcome – A new provincial EVT delivery model was designed to optimize care based on the geographic location of stroke onset. Click here to see the full review.

Request a HTA review, questions, comments

If you have a health care delivery project or challenge that requires evidence and data, best practices, or an Alberta-specific solution that is tailored for optimum outcomes, please contact us. We also welcome any questions or comments about Alberta Health Evidence Reviews.

  • Alberta Health, Health Evidence and Policy Unit
  • Email: health.innovation@gov.ab.ca
  • In Edmonton and area, call 780-422-0862
  • Toll-free at 310-0000, then dial 780-422-0862

Within the Research and Innovation Branch of Alberta Health, the Health Evidence and Policy Unit manages the production of Alberta Health Evidence Reviews. This unit also supports the AACHT and works with partners across the health care system to build their capacity to produce and use evidence in decision-making.