Dr Elise Berliner on the Difference Between Horizon Scanning in the US and Europe

The US horizon scanning system is more comprehensive than the one used in Europe, but the US has the disadvantage of having a more fragmented healthcare system, explained Elise Berliner, PhD, director of the Technology Assessment Program in the Center for Outcomes and Evidence at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The US horizon scanning system is more comprehensive than the one used in Europe, but the US has the disadvantage of having a more fragmented healthcare system, explained Elise Berliner, PhD, director of the Technology Assessment Program in the Center for Outcomes and Evidence at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Transcript (slightly modified)

How does horizon scanning in the US differ from the rest of the world?

There are European horizon scanning efforts, but the US system is more comprehensive. This the first system really trying to scan across a wide variety of systems, and very systematically look for innovations that are going to have an impact. Our scope is also very wide—we look at drugs, devices—but we also look at off-label uses of drugs and new uses of devices, new surgical procedures, new organizational changes in systems.

For example, if hospitals have an innovation where they changed something about the structure of care, we would try to capture that. Those are much harder to find, obviously, but we try and look for them. And some of the things that we have looked at, some of the things we have been tracking are like breast milk banks and the use of fecal transplants in C. difficile, so things that aren't necessarily commercial.

The other differences are, of course, the way that the healthcare systems are set up. The US healthcare system is very fragmented and a lot of the European efforts are more focused on working, specifically, with the national healthcare system, whereas we're putting out the information and we hope it's used by all different payers and all different stakeholders in the system, but it's a much more fragmented system.