Healthcare databases in Thailand and Japan: potential sources for health technology assessment research

Surasak Saokaew, Takashi Sugimoto, Isao Kamae, Chayanin Pratoomsoot, Nathorn Chaiyakunapruk

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Health technology assessment (HTA) has been continuously used for value-based healthcare decisions over the last decade. Healthcare databases represent an important source of information for HTA, which has seen a surge in use in Western countries. Although HTA agencies have been established in Asia-Pacific region, application and understanding of healthcare databases for HTA is rather limited. Thus, we reviewed existing databases to assess their potential for HTA in Thailand where HTA has been used officially and Japan where HTA is going to be officially introduced. Method: Existing healthcare databases in Thailand and Japan were compiled and reviewed. Databases characteristics e.g. name of database, host, scope/objective, time/sample size, design, data collection method, population/sample, and variables were described. Databases were assessed for its potential HTA use in terms of safety/efficacy/effectiveness, social/ethical, organization/professional, economic, and epidemiological domains. Request route for each database was also provided. Results: Forty databases-20 from Thailand and 20 from Japan-were included. These comprised of national censuses, surveys, registries, administrative data, and claimed databases. All databases were potentially used for epidemiological studies. In addition, data on mortality, morbidity, disability, adverse events, quality of life, service/technology utilization, length of stay, and economics were also found in some databases. However, access to patientlevel data was limited since information about the databases was not available on public sources. Conclusion: Our findings have shown that existing databases provided valuable information for HTA research with limitation on accessibility. Mutual dialogue on healthcare database development and usage for HTA among Asia-Pacific region is needed. ? 2015 Saokaew et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0141993
Number of pages20
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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