Estimating the Cost-Effectiveness of Implementation: Is Sufficient Evidence Available?

Sophie Whyte, Simon Dixon, Rita Faria, Simon Walker, Stephen Palmer, Mark Sculpher, Stefanie Radford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Timely implementation of recommended interventions can provide health benefits to patients and cost savings to the health service provider. Effective approaches to increase the implementation of guidance are needed. Since investment in activities that improve implementation competes for funding against other health generating interventions, it should be assessed in term of its costs and benefits.

OBJECTIVE: In 2010, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence released a clinical guideline recommending natriuretic peptide (NP) testing in patients with suspected heart failure. However, its implementation in practice was variable across the National Health Service in England. This study demonstrates the use of multi-period analysis together with diffusion curves to estimate the value of investing in implementation activities to increase uptake of NP testing.

METHODS: Diffusion curves were estimated based on historic data to produce predictions of future utilization. The value of an implementation activity (given its expected costs and effectiveness) was estimated. Both a static population and a multi-period analysis were undertaken.

RESULTS: The value of implementation interventions encouraging the utilization of NP testing is shown to decrease over time as natural diffusion occurs. Sensitivity analyses indicated that the value of the implementation activity depends on its efficacy and on the population size.

CONCLUSIONS: Value of implementation can help inform policy decisions of how to invest in implementation activities even in situations in which data are sparse. Multi-period analysis is essential to accurately quantify the time profile of the value of implementation given the natural diffusion of the intervention and the incidence of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-44
Number of pages7
JournalValue in Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2016

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