The Evidence Bar™ Delivers ECRI Institute's Bottom-line Conclusions on Health Technologies

New visual decision-making tool triggers faster decisions on new and emerging drugs and devices

April 18, 2017

PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA—Healthcare payers and providers don’t have to look far to get unbiased, independent judgment about the evidence on name-brand drugs and devices now that ECRI Institute has introduced The Evidence Bar™.

While ECRI Institute’s custom rapid reviews have long complemented healthcare professionals’ day-to-day value analysis and policy-making decisions, the newly enhanced executive summary equips users with a visual, at-a-glance tool.

“With our new Evidence Bar and restructured summary format, health professionals can now more quickly and confidently inform their decisions on new and emerging interventions,” says Vivian H. Coates, MBA, vice president, health technology assessment, ECRI Institute.

The Evidence Bar is ECRI Institute’s proprietary approach to weighing the benefits and harms of a specific, name-brand drug or device. The bar shows one of five possible indicators, each aligning with a specific judgment about the evidence on a technology: unfavorable, raises concerns, inconclusive, favors, or greatly favors the technology.

“Available evidence rarely addresses every key question and is almost never firmly conclusive. Whereas others may assign a low rating to inconclusive evidence—implying that one should disregard the technology—The Evidence Bar signals payers and providers to proceed with caution and stay tuned for more developments,” says Diane C. Robertson, director, health technology assessment, ECRI Institute.

Value analysis specialists from large national health systems and medical policy directors from payers validated the tool and new-and-improved executive summary. They confirmed that the new approach provides a quick, clear picture of safety, efficacy, and future evidence development for committee meetings. Early feedback indicated that the executive summary is easily read and understood in less than three minutes.

ECRI’s membership-based health technology assessment service provides trusted, objective science-based analyses of clinical evidence and informed judgment on new and emerging drugs, devices, diagnostics, implants, procedures, and interventions to help payers and providers track healthcare innovations, improve patient outcomes, and make sound value analysis or coverage decisions.

Members can search or browse thousands of up-to-date, peer-reviewed reports; request custom reports on specific products; or engage with subject matter experts from ECRI Institute’s multidisciplinary staff, which includes physicians, pharmacists, nurses, biomedical engineers, informaticists, planners, librarians, and quality, legal and risk management professionals.

To learn more about The Evidence Bar or ECRI Institute's Health Technology Assessment Information Service, please visit or contact ECRI Institute by telephone at (610) 825-6000, ext. 5440; by e-mail at; or by mail at 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462-1298, USA.

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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 enable improved patient care. As pioneers in this science for nearly 50 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. ECRI Institute convened and operates the Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety, a multi-stakeholder collaborative.

For more information, contact:
Laurie Menyo, Director of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
(610) 825-6000, ext. 5310