In 2016, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Journals Library published a series of essays, in which a range of UK and international experts in health services research identified current developments and future challenges in methods to evaluate health, social care and public health innovations. It was recognised that this volume did not comprehensively address the full array of methods. One such gap was the economic evaluation of service innovations.
There are well-developed guidelines for economic evaluation of clearly defined clinical interventions, but no such guidelines for economic analysis of service interventions. Distinctive challenges for analysis of service interventions include diffuse effects, wider system impacts, and variability in implementation, costs and effects. Cost-effectiveness evidence is as important for service interventions as for clinical interventions. There is also an important role for wider forms of economic analysis to increase our general understanding of context, processes and behaviours in the care system. Methods exist to estimate the cost-effectiveness of service interventions before and after introduction, to measure patient and professional preferences, to reflect the value of resources used by service interventions, and to capture wider system effects, but these are not widely applied. Future priorities for economic analysis should be to produce cost-effectiveness evidence and to increase our understanding of how service interventions affect, and are affected by, the care system.
THis curent report looks at: