GPC Releases RWE Decoder, A Practical Tool for Assessing Relevance and Rigor of RWE

February 7, 2017

Easy to use spreadsheet, user's guide, and framework to help inform decision-making


Green Park Collaborative Releases RWE Decoder, A Practical Tool for Assessing Relevance and Rigor of Real World Evidence
An Easy-to-use spreadsheet, user’s guide, and framework to help inform decision-making

Baltimore, MD (February 7, 2017) – The Green Park Collaborative (GPC), sponsored by the Center for Medical Technology Policy (CMTP), today released RWE Decoder, a new tool to help health care decision-makers confidently and consistently use Real World Evidence (RWE) when making tough coverage and care choices. 

The tool, user guide, and supporting white paper are available here.

Published RWE studies are increasingly available from today’s health care systems, developed from data-rich electronic medical records or medical claims data. The quality of this research, however, can vary widely, and payers, clinicians and other health care decision makers often dismiss it out of hand. RWE Decoder, and its associated user guide and framework, offer a thoughtful approach to helping these decision-makers assess whether RWE studies address their questions and can appropriately guide their choices.
“Our primary goal was to develop a practical, reasonably simple way for decision makers to identify the subset of RWE studies worth their attention,” said Sean Tunis, President & CEO of CMTP. “Most of the existing tools and best practices require a significant level of methodological sophistication. We wanted a tool that included sufficient technical detail to accurately differentiate high quality from low quality studies. RWE Decoder can be applied with limited training, and in a reasonable amount of time.  It will be useful to those already using, or likely to use RWE, to guide their decision-making.”  

A practical way to evaluate rigor and relevance
RWE Decoder is a spreadsheet-based assessment tool that helps decision-makers evaluate both the rigor and relevance of available studies for a given decision. Rigor reflects how well a study uses strong methodological standards to reduce potential biases and measurement inconsistencies.  It is a measure of whether a study is more or less likely to yield a reliable result. Relevance means the direct relation of research findings to a decision maker’s specific questions. Informed by both of these factors, RWE Decoder guides users towards an informed assessment of a study’s usefulness and provides a visual output to enable a user to compare assessments of several related studies at once.

“Our stakeholders and experts stressed the importance of measuring both rigor and relevance because each can be independent of the other,” said Tunis. “Users want to understand and evaluate evidence on both of these dimensions.”

A broad-based, multi-stakeholder team
GPC gathered a diverse team of expert stakeholders to develop the RWE Decoder, as well as the associated user guide and framework. This group represents both those who use and those who generate RWE. The one-year effort included interviews with real-world users and an environmental scan of existing evaluation frameworks. A draft approach was then reviewed by expert workgroups, and feedback was incorporated into the final tool and guide. The tool, and associated materials, is available for download online.

“This is a big step forward in overcoming the temptation of some decision-makers to discard all RWE studies, reflecting the concern that they have no reliable way to know which ones should at least be considered,” said Michael Stoto, Professor of Health Systems Administration and Population Health at Georgetown University.  “This new tool is a step in the right direction, and its usability and accuracy will continue to improve with additional pilot testing and feedback.”  

About the Green Park Collaborative-USA 
The Green Park Collaborative (GPC) is a multi-stakeholder forum focused on improving clinical evidence and policies for health plan reimbursement. GPC, a major initiative of the Center for Medical Technology Policy (CMTP), convenes working groups to develop condition and technology-specific study design recommendations that focus on real-world effectiveness and value, meet the evidence expectations of payers, and are informed by the views of patients and clinicians.  

Julie Simmons