When healthcare value-analysis professionals are faced with manufacturer claims intended to convince them to purchase healthcare technologies and products, they ask, "Is there evidence to support the claims about this product-and the pricing that goes with it?" (Logo: ECRI Institute (, an independent nonprofit that researches the best approaches to improving patient care, has developed a short-form answer to healthcare decision makers' questions to support purchase and reimbursement decisions about brand-name medical supplies, physician preference items, and other devices.

"Hospitals are under pressure now more than ever to improve patient care and safety while reining in costs. Purchasing decisions for physician preference items like orthopedic implants and cardiovascular stents need to be made on the basis of their value," says Vivian Coates, vice president of information services and health technology assessment, ECRI Institute.

ECRI Institute's new custom Product BriefT service-the latest component of its Health Technology Assessment Information ServiceT-provides rapid, unbiased evidence-backed guidance to help hospital and health plan leaders make more informed product selection and coverage decisions about brand-name devices and drugs.

Each two- to three-page brief contains a product overview, probes manufacturer claims, identifies relevant clinical studies and regulatory information, and provides ECRI Institute's opinions regarding the manufacturer's claims. The on-demand briefs are prepared in as few as five working days by ECRI Institute's research analysts and information specialists.

Product Briefs are available on a broad range of medical products, including catheters, stent systems, glucose monitors, implants, anesthesia systems, defibrillators, tissue sterilization processes, incision management systems, embolization devices, air leak sealants, ultrasound systems, and more.

"These briefs fill the need for timely information on the latest products on the market," says Joe Cummings, Ph.D., manager of technology assessment at University HealthSystem Consortium, an alliance of academic medical centers and their affiliated hospitals.

"Hospital value-analysis committees and health plan clinical policy committees typically have very little time to discuss the many topics on their agenda at each meeting, so the briefs help them cut to the chase," states Diane Robertson, director, health technology assessment information service, ECRI Institute. "Our insights and opinions keep decision makers grounded with evidence-based information so they don't get swept away by product hype." ECRI Institute's Health Technology Assessment Information Service membership program includes evidence-based analyses of the comparative effectiveness of drugs, medical devices, and procedures, delivered through evidence reports, forecasting and trending tools, and online databases. Critical insights are provided on thousands of healthcare technologies and services along the continuum of evidence, from research and development to diffusion into the marketplace.

To learn more about ECRI Institute's Health Technology Assessment Information Service and to download a sample Product Brief, visit and click on "View Sample Reports," e-mail, or call (610) 825-6000, ext. 5891.

About ECRI Institute ECRI Institute, a nonprofit organization, dedicates itself to bringing the discipline of applied scientific research to healthcare to discover which medical procedures, devices, drugs, and processes are best to enable improved patient care. As pioneers in this science for nearly 45 years, ECRI Institute marries experience and independence with the objectivity of evidence-based research. Strict conflict-of-interest guidelines ensure objectivity.

ECRI Institute is designated an Evidence-based Practice Center by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. ECRI Institute PSO is listed as a federally certified Patient Safety Organization by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Find ECRI Institute on Facebook ( and on Twitter ( For more information, visit

SOURCE ECRI Institute -0- 05/23/2012 /Photo: /Web Site: CO: ECRI Institute ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA SU: NPT PRN -- DC12753 -- 0000 05/23/2012 17:31:53 EDT http://www.prnewswire.c