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Health technology disinvestment: tests, drugs and clinical practice: part 1 Report

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posted on 26.10.2016, 04:37 by Claire Harris, Kelly Allen, Cara Waller, Catherine Voutier, Vanessa Brooke
Most new health technologies and clinical practices are assessed for safety, effectiveness and cost effectiveness before they are introduced. However most of our current practices are not subjected to these rigorous assessments and recent research shows that many are not effective and are sometimes even harmful. Cessation or restriction of potentially harmful, ineffective or inefficient practices has the dual advantage of improving patient care and allowing for a more efficient use of scarce resources. This approach, also known as 'disinvestment', has the potential to increase total health benefits without increasing spending.

A national workshop was held to explore issues related to disinvestment of health technologies and clinical practices. This was approached from three perspectives: health policy researchers, health economists and health service decision-makers.

Seventy two participants attended and included representation from national and state government departments, health services, academic and research groups, professional associations and consumers.

While disinvestment is a relatively new concept, this workshop identified that there is already considerable knowledge and experience in Australia. Although significant work is being undertaken, it is usually in isolation. There are no standard methods, agreed approaches or shared understanding of what disinvestment is and what it means in various settings and contexts. There is no systematic sharing of information, little collaboration on projects and no community of practice.

A range of strong, consistent messages emerged and are reported.

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