DAHTA @DIMDI – German Agency for HTA at the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information

germany_flag  Cologne, Germany

– Dr.med Hans-Peter Dauben, Director/Head, DAHTA @DIMDI


History and Structure

The Institute for Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI) is an institute within the scope of the German Federal Ministry of Health (BMG). Under the German Healthcare Structure Reform Act of 2000, DIMDI was ordered to implement and manage information related to Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and Evidence based Medicine (EbM). For this mission the German Agency for HTA (DAHTA) of DIMDI was founded in 2000. The work of the Agency was strengthened by the Health Care Modernization Act 2003 (GMG). It moved the improvement of health care quality and a more efficient distribution of disposable financial means further into the centre of health care. A Scientific Advisory Board and a Board of Trustees support these efforts.

DIMDI has been a member of INAHTA since 1999.


The mission of DIMDI is based on the legal basis: "DIMDI establishes and operates a database-supported information system to evaluate the efficacy and costs of medical procedures and technologies. The information system provides access to the relevant databases and lists reviews and other material concerning the status of national and international scientific results in the field of medical technology assessment. Furthermore, DIMDI awards research assignments for the evaluation of medical procedures and technologies, and analyses the results of these projects to integrate them into the information system." (Article 19 of the law regarding an information system for the evaluation of medical technology according to the Health Care Reform Act 2000)

How DAHTA Works

DAHTA´s main task is to manage the HTA process with special regard to quality, reliability, and actuality. These skills and efforts are accompanied by special expertise in literature management and electronically based information systems. DAHTA administrates a database which includes its own edited HTA reports as well as national and international reports of different institutes (e. g. IQWIG, CADTH, NCCHTA) partially translated. The HTA reports edited by DAHTA consist of assessments of medical technologies from a medical, economic, social and ethical point of view. They are prepared on the basis of a standard operating procedure. Topics for the HTA reports can be entered publicly into a database of topics via an internet questionnaire. That means that any interested person has the possibility to formulate HTA topics. Twice a year the HTA Board of Trustees which represents the decision making groups in German healthcare, selects the topics corresponding to their importance in health care by a standardised procedure (Delphi). For the preparation of the reports the prioritised topics are commissioned to collaborative scientific groups consisting of the disciplines necessary for HTA. In this context a standardised quality assured process has to be followed. DAHTA develops and controls this procedure continually. After a process of peer reviewing the finished reports are published for free: in the DAHTA database, in the scientific journal series of HTA at German Medical Science (gms) and in the journal gms HTA (accessible via www.egms.de).

In order to maintain a constant quality of HTA products, DAHTA works closely with German scientific societies in the fields of medicine, health economics, statistics, biometry, medical informatics, public health, and EbM. A Scientific Advisory Board supports DAHTA with these efforts. Additionally, the international collaboration, especially with INAHTA, HTAi and the European projects (i. e. EUnetHTA) give the base for an up-to-date HTA process.

Dissemination Activities

The DAHTA reports are disseminated to defined target groups – health policy makers, clinicians and others. Additionally, news are written and spread. All reports and news are available online at www.dimdi.de. The DAHTA database can be searched with the DIMDI retrieval system in combination with the main medical literature databases (i. e. Medline, Embase, Cochrane, INAHTA etc.). All reports of the DAHTA database can be downloaded in full text exempt from charges. Accordingly, German reports are published through the electronic journal German Medical Science (www.egms.de). There is additional information on international and national activities relevant to HTA on the website, too. Furthermore, there are meetings (i. e. the annual German HTA symposium) and workshops organised to exchange HTA information.

Current Projects

Due to the HTA process and the process of prioritisation the list of ongoing projects is continuously changing. The current list can be found on the DIMDI website. Ongoing projects and finished reports are available in the HTA database.

Future Plans

DAHTA follows its mission further on. The DAHTA database is going to be extended and continuously optimised. More HTA reports with topics regarding diagnosis, therapy, screening, prevention and care with relevance to social health will be edited by DAHTA. For more information, please see our website: www.dimdi.de, link HTA.


Agency Information


Country: Germany
Description of population served: National
Population served (mil): 80
Current HTA budget (mil USD): 0,835
Permanent staff: 11 (120 at DIMDI)
Consultants: variable
Ongoing TA projects: approx. 25

Contact information

Director/Head: Dr.med Hans-Peter Dauben
Contact person: Dr.med Hans-Peter Dauben

German Agency for HTA at the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information
Waisenhausgasse 36-38a
D-50676 Cologne Germany

Tel: +49 (221) 4724-525
Fax: +49 221 4724 444
Internet: http://www.dimdi.de
Email: dahta@dimdi.de at the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information