2010

Background Decisions on adopting new healthcare interventions should be supported by the best available evidence on their safety, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. Evidence is never certain and so is any decision based on that evidence. This uncertainty may lead to suboptimal decisions with costly consequences. Collecting more information may reduce uncertainty; however, there is a cost for additional research. Value of information (VOI) analysis is a systematic approach to quantify the value of research in reducing decision uncertainty. It compares the marginal research benefits and marginal costs to inform whether additional research is worthwhile. Furthermore, research studies can be designed and prioritised to optimise the net benefits from additional research. Despite its value, the use of VOI analysis in practice is limited. Objectives To apply VOI analysis in a group of real-world healthcare interventions to guide implementation decisions, and optimise research design and research priorities. Methods All analyses were conducted from the perspective of Queensland Health, the public provider of healthcare in Queensland, Australia. Four interventions were evaluated: clinically-indicated peripheral intravenous catheter replacement, tissue adhesive for securing arterial catheters, negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) in caesarean sections, and nutritional support in preventing pressure ulcers in high-risk patients. For each intervention, an economic evaluation was performed, decision uncertainty characterised, and VOI measures calculated using Monte Carlo simulations.