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PREFACE The mission of the committee that produced this report was 8 tated clearly in its name: Committee to Develop a Plan for a Private/Public Sector Entity to Assess Technology in Medical Care. In constructing the plan, the committee affirmed the need for such an entity and developed a rationale for what it believes is the most practical set of organizational characteristics. The committee's major recommenda- tion Is for the establishment of a Medical Technology Assessment Consortium associated with the Institute of Medicine. Although members of the committee were concerned about the rudimentary state of some technology assessment methods, a critique of assessment methods was not appropriate here. Another Institute committee, the Committee for Evaluating Medical Technologies in Clinical Use, under the chairmanship of Frederick Mosteller, is charged in this respect and the work of that committee continues at this time. The individuals involved in the design and execution of the project reported here are listed in the previous pages. The members of the committee and of the liaison panels, all extraordinarily busy and distinguished people, were animated by a belief in the need for the type of entity described, by a concern for the quality of medical care, by a desire for the continued development of appropriate medical- technology, and by a concern for the validity of the technologic proce- dures involved in patient care. They met their task with intelligence, energy and good humor; it is a pleasure to acknowledge my las tiny gratitude to each of them. Because of the inherently judgmental elements involved in this report, and the wide disparity of participants, not everyone on the committee or the liaison panels subscribes to every aspect of the conclusions and recommendations that are made. Nevertheless, the report does represent the overwhelming consensus of the committee. The staff effort for any study of this kind is considerable. In this instance it was especially so in vi ew of the large number of individ- uals on the committee and lie, son panels and the number of constitu- encies involved. We are especially fortunate ire having the willing and expert assistance of Enriqueta C. Bond and Alton Hodges and their CQ- workers. Their efforts in organizing, coordinate ng and systematizing our work were central to the entire effort, and permitted us to con- clude our work within the s~x~onth time frame available to us. On behalf of the ent ire committee I acknowledge with pleasure our indebtedness to the TOM staff and to Drs. Bond and Hodges particularly. x
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Further, I wish to acknowledge my appreciation of the editorial assist ance of Wallace K. Waterfall, who helped immensely in our efforts to make this report clear and, above all, useful. Jeremiah A. Barondess Chairman X1 -