to assign criterion scores to each of these topics. Separately constituted subpanels might also be required to divide the workload and to assign subjective or objective criterion scores. The subpanel(s) assigning subjective criterion scores would be composed of individuals with the range of perspectives of the full panel; the subpanel(s) assigning objective criterion scores would require experts in epidemiology and health statistics to review the data collected by OHTA staff and produce estimates when necessary.

The committee envisions two products that would be publicly available: a list of the priority-ranked technologies and the data base used to construct the list. Both would be part of a priority-setting document published by OHTA. Each highly ranked technology should also be accompanied by a discussion of the features that contributed to its ranking, the data sources that were used, the level of confidence the panels assigned to the data, and any strongly held minority views.

OHTA should adopt methods that will enable it to conduct preliminary assessments even when there is not yet adequate evidence on which to base a strong clinical policy recommendation. The committee advocates using decision analysis as a way to identify which missing evidence is most important for decision making and to use the results as input to the development of an agenda for empirical research sponsored by AHCPR.

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