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Unbiased judgement on
devices and drugs

ECRI launches The Evidence Bar tool for unbiased device insights

by Lauren Dubinsky , Senior Reporter
ECRI Institute announced on Tuesday the introduction of The Evidence Bar tool, which provides health care providers and payors with an independent perspective of the evidence on name-brand devices and drugs.

“The payers and providers using evidence to make their purchasing or medical coverage policy decisions are very pressed for time and wanted a quick, at-a-glance indicator of our independent, unbiased judgment of the available evidence on a technology,” Diane Robertson, director of health technology assessment at ECRI, told HCB News.

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This tool is an upgrade to ECRI’s custom rapid reviews, which has a long history of helping health care professionals with value analysis and policy-making decisions. ECRI restructured the presentation and order of the information in the executive summary so they can digest the important information faster, said Robertson.

The Evidence Bar weighs the benefits and harms of a specific device or drug after reviewing relevant evidence, and then makes a judgment on it. It’s given an "unfavorable", "raises concerns","inconclusive", "favors", or "greatly favors" label.

“After review of the evidence identified through literature searches conducted by master’s-level medical librarians, ECRI Institute research analysts, extensively trained in methods of evidence assessment, weigh potential benefits and harms of a technology to arrive at their expert judgment,” said Robertson.

Other solutions might assign a low rating to inconclusive evidence, which implies that the device or drug should be disregarded. But The Evidence Bar informs payors and providers to proceed with caution and stay tuned for new developments.

Value analysis specialists at large national systems and medical policy directors from payors validated the tool and new executive summary. Early feedback reveals that the executive summary is easily read and understood in less than three minutes.

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