Supporting policymakers in informed decision making

Policy makers now have unprecedented access to scientific evidence on what works in health care. The rise of ‘truth focused’ knowledge has not been matched by a concomitant effort to ensure that the decisions that flow from this information are ‘the best’ decisions that can be made. Government committees and professional bodies often take decisions ‘intuitively’ rather than analytically. It’s what Jack Dowie has called TIABIM “Taking Into Account Bearing in Mind”. Decisions are made but the process is not transparent. No one has any idea what factors influenced the final decision and how much each factor contributed to that decision. An alternative approach is to develop ‘Decision Technology’ whereby a decision analytic approach is used to quantify costs, outcomes and values in a coherent framework. Our aim is to develop evaluative models that make each of these components explicit particularly with respect to screening and diagnostic test assessment.