Analytic Hierarchy Process for Health Technology Assessment: A Case Study for Selecting a Maintenance Service Contract
Objective: In this study, the Analytic Hierarchic Process (AHP) was used to improve Health Technology Assessment (HTA) by: tracking the decision processes allowing stakeholders to understand the work done by decision-makers (DMs); weighting properly the most appropriate DM for each dimension of the problem; extending decision processes to DMs not skilled in complex mathematical methods. Moreover, our goal was to quantify qualitative knowledge, which affects HTA, using a scientific method. As a case study, we focused on the choice of a maintenance contract for a Computerized Tomography scanner.
Methods: The AHP was applied to support HTA for the need analysis and for the assessment of how each alternative fits each need. sixteen managers from eight hospitals were involved to assess the demand’s needs. Managers of four leading manufacturers providing maintenance services were involved to analyze different offers.
Results: AHP allowed quantify the relative importance of each need in each Hospital, showing that the demand changes according to several factors as: technologic asset, mission, position, and environment. Moreover, the proposed method enabled to measure how each contract adhered the demand, without further features not strictly required, for which hospitals are not willing to pay. These results were achieved using a fully traceable method, allowing stakeholders to fully understand the decision process.
Conclusion: AHP allowed to model demand and offer in a coherent framework of decision making, including both qualitative and quantitative knowledge. This enabled to reach the objectives of this study, quantifying needs’ relative importance and consequently the adherence of each contract.
Keywordsanalytic hierarchy process health technology assessment maintenance service contract user need elicitation
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