The Evaluation and Planning Service of the Canary Islands Health Service (SESCS) is a unit dependent on the Directorate of the Canary Islands Health Service in the Ministry of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands. It is composed of a multidisciplinary group of researchers (economists, epidemiologists, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, statisticians, health service evaluators).

In addition, SESCS is part of the Spanish Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment and Services of the National Health System (RedETS), as well as the European Network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA) and the Network for Research in Health Services into Chronic Diseases (REDISSEC), financed by the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII). SESCS is also a member of the Canary Islands Health Research Institute Foundation (FIISC) and the Canary Islands Biomedical Research Center (CIBICAN).

SESCS was founded in 1995, with the aim of correct he decisions of all the relevant agents in the public health system (health politicians, managers, health professionals and patients) and reducing uncertainty regarding the incorporation, dissemination and appropriate use of health technologies in the Canary Islands. Since 2006, this activity has been extended to the whole of the Spanish state, through the incorporation of SESCS in the Spanish Network of Health Technology Assessment and Services of the National Health System (RedETS).

The mission of SESCS is to present scientific evidence that favors safer, more solvent and higher quality health care; equitable, accessible, affordable, global and sustainable; working with and for patients, professionals and health authorities, in order to guarantee the availability of understandable and usable evidence when making decisions for all actors in the health system. This scientific evidence is basically presented via health technology assessment reports and clinical practice guidelines, to inform the decisions of political decision makers, managers and health professionals. In addition, to inform the decisions of patients and caregivers, SESCS develops, validates and evaluates tools to promote shared decisions between patients and health professionals. SESCS also produces versions for patients of the clinical practice guidelines and the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) reports.

Furthermore, the research projection of SESCS enables the production of new scientific knowledge on the effectiveness, safety, cost-effectiveness and impact of certain relevant health technologies regarding which there is insufficient evidence of their value.

SESCS also performs activities of early scientific advice to the industry, to encourage the incorporation of technologies of value to society earlier and more efficiently into the Portfolio of shared services in the National Health System.

In order to ensure the mission and help in the fulfillment of its objectives, SESCS adopts a strategy of promoting stable collaboration and the establishment of alliances with key partners, both with institutions and with individuals from the professional, patient and health industry sectors at a regional, national and international level. Specifically, alliances with other national and international institutions of excellence will contribute to the continuous improvement of the training of SESCS professionals; which is an intermediate instrumental objective of the utmost relevance for our organization. Participation in HTA and evaluation research projects, consortiums and international networks is one of the goals that drive continuous quality improvement in SESCS tasks.

At the same time, with the aim of ensuring and invigorating the culture of continuous improvement in SESCS, the heads of each of our four divisions develop an individualized training plan for each researcher in their charge on an annual basis, attending to the tasks that are assigned on a scheduled basis. Along these same lines, SESCS examines other international HTA organizations in depth, making comparisons and benchmarking procedures that allow it to set its own objectives for continuous improvement.

What are Health Technology Assessment Reports?

HTA reports synthesize the best available scientific evidence on the efficacy, safety, effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, accessibility and equity of health technologies; as well as their impacts (budgetary, organizational, ethical and social), adapting the evaluation to the analyzed health context (according to epidemiology, demography, organization of the health system, etc.), depending on the needs of the petitioner. In particular, SESCS makes a considerable effort to incorporate, in all its reports, economic evaluations to correct, comparatively and globally, decisions on resource allocation.

The HTA reports prepared by SESCS are always subject to external review by experts, patients and interested industry, from the early stage of protocol preparation.

Other SESCS activities

Apart from the products mentioned above, SESCS is also dedicated to:

Designing, applying and analyzing the Canary Islands Health Survey (ESCa), in collaboration with the Canary Institute of Statistics of the Government of the Canary Islands. The ESCa is a population survey that is periodically conducted to characterize possible changes in lifestyle, problems of self-perceived health and their impact on health-related quality of life, and on the use of and satisfaction with health services.

Planning and managing the Canary Islands Health Service Virtual Library.

Performing evaluative research activities regarding health services. The main lines of research focus on: the cost of the disease; the economic evaluation of health technologies; health-related quality of life (in common chronic diseases and in rare diseases); the evaluation of health services based on telemedicine and knowledge transfer; enhancing patient empowerment through the development and evaluation of decision support tools and the assessment of research needs from a patient perspective.

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