course ID: 1

Using Evidence to Improve the Efficiency of Health Care Systems


The course discusses how evidence generated by health technology assessment (HTA) and economic evaluation can be used to improve the efficiency of health care systems. It is designed as an introduction to the concepts, methods, and application of health technology assessment and economic evaluation in health care, exploring how these approaches can be used in health care decision-making. Specific topics that will be covered include: the policy context for HTA, methods and processes of HTA, an overview of economic evaluation methods, cost and benefit estimation, economic evaluation using patient-level data, economic evaluation using decision-analytic modelling, critical appraisal of HTAs and economic evaluation studies, and the use HTA and economic evaluation in health care decision-making. Numerous examples and case studies from both high income and low/middle income countries will be used to illustrate the main points and considerable emphasis is placed on learning through group work and exercises. There will be ample opportunity for participants to discuss any issues or problems they have already encountered in the field of HTA and economic evaluation. The course will be of particular benefit to those working in, or with, the health care sector who have an interest in using evidence to improve the allocation of health care resources, or have a need to present a case for funding or reimbursement of particular health care treatments or programs.


At the end of the course, the student will:

  • understand the policy context for the use of evidence to improve the efficiency of health care systems;
  • be familiar with the components of health technology assessment and its link with economic evaluation;
  • be familiar with the concepts, methods and applications of economic evaluation in healthcare;
  • understand costing methodology and the different approaches to valuing the benefits of health treatments;
  • be able to undertake a critical appraisal of published studies;
  • understand the limitations of clinical trials as a vehicle for economic evaluation;
  • be familiar with decision-analytic modelling approaches, including the construction of decision trees and Markov models;
  • appreciate the main issues in the use of economic evaluation in health care resource allocation decisions, including the reimbursement of health technologies;
  • have an appreciation of future developments in the theory and application of economic evaluation in health care.


The course is intended for graduate students (or equivalent) who have a background in economics, or the health disciplines. Some previous knowledge of HTA and economic evaluation is desirable, although not essential, as this can be acquired through the reading that is offered in connection with this course. Some work experience in the health care sector is desirable, but not essential.

Mike Drummond


Professor of Health Economics, Centre of Health Economics (CHE), University of York, UK)

Marco Barbieri


Consultant, i3Innovus (UK)