others will provide a sound basis for change, and organizations should constantly reexamine their methods for setting priorities. When making any changes, these groups should consider carefully whether modifying a given element might adversely affect the performance of the entire process.

In proposing a strategy for an optimal priority-setting process, the committee realizes that funding for technology assessment is already constrained and that its proposed priority-setting system will require some additional resources. Given the potential value of priority setting, however, the funding for this effort appears to be justified.

The committee views its report as a strategic effort to look ahead to reasonable goals for AHCPR and OHTA and to create a process that will be credible, sound, and defensible. During the process of compiling data for the quantitative model, OHTA will create a valuable data base and a ranking of priorities; both will be important resources for other organizations as well as for OHTA itself. Indeed, such a program could lead not only to wise use of public and private resources for technology assessment but also to an increase in public support for the entire technology assessment process.



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