Technology Assessment 101 - Decision Making

The results of the testing process are often understood very well by those who performed the evaluation, but may not be immediately understood by other stakeholders.  Additional steps should be taken to ensure that the data is clearly disseminated to key people involved in the decision-making, purchasing, and implementation processes.

Testing Review and Final Selection

The testing process should have produced a set of numbers that can be used to make a decision as to which product should be purchased.  Additional feedback from clinicians may have helped provide additional insight as to which device will best fit an organization’s needs, and enough expertise will have been created within the testing team to provide useful information to the decision-making team.

An overview of the tests, the results, and the thoughts of the testing team can help those making the purchase decision better understand which product should be purchased.  The exact mechanics of this process are likely to vary by organization and by the scope of the project.  Ensuring that all decision-makers understand the process that went into testing can help them better understand why particular recommendations have been made; an overview document or final presentation on the testing team’s findings may be useful.

Information Sharing

When the decision has been made, consider creating a high-level summary document to send to those who will be interested to learn more, such as clinicians who will use the devices, organizations who are partners in the project, and other identified stakeholders.  Gather any feedback from these stakeholders, as they may have insights that may not have been considered by the initial team.

Inform stakeholders of upcoming milestones or deadlines that may impact them, such as plans to ship or deploy equipment, purchasing timelines, and training options that will exist as the implementation process continues.

The information gathered up to this point may be rather extensive.  It is important to make a plan to disseminate relevant decisions and next steps to those who will be impacted by this work of the assessment team.  Be prepared to inform clinicians and technicians about the decisions that have been made, including information about which products have been selected for implementation.  Allow for feedback from interested parties, and be prepared to answer questions about the process that was followed, the impact of the decisions, and the plan for moving forward.