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  What is iHTP Used For?  
Health services aim to protect or improve health. However, whether they do so effectively depends on which services are provided and how they are delivered and organized. Resources should be used for interventions that are known to be effective, in accordance with national or local priorities. Because resources are limited, there will always be some form of rationing but prices should not be the chief way to determine who gets what care (World Health Report 2000, World Health Organization).

IHTP improves health service delivery because its simulation tool systematically demonstrates--with thorough input data anchored in national priorities--to decision-makers which services are necessary and cost-effective given available resources. Furthermore, it does so without using price as the sole aspect of planning—instead, the simulation tool integrates information on patient demographics and disease profiles to successfully embed local needs and priorities to a resource and costing analysis.

Providing health care efficiently requires financial resources to be properly balanced among the many inputs used to deliver health services (World Health Report 2000, World Health Organization). IHTP basically performs this balancing act once all of the essential input data are in. For example, large numbers of staff does not improve health service delivery without adequately built, equipped and supplied facilities. Available resources should thus be allocated both to investments in new skills, facilities and equipment, and to maintenance of the existing infrastructure (World Health Report 2000, World Health Organization). IHTP synthesizes these needs and renders decision-makers with output information that allows discernment on which investment is effective at what time, at what cost and with which technologies. In order to reduce the risk of future imbalances, new investment choices must be made carefully and the existing mix of inputs needs to be monitored on a regular basis. (World Health Report 2000, World Health Organization). IHTP shows resource planners several possibilities on where to focus their new investments in addition to possible outcomes; this gives them the necessary information to make an appropriate decision. The IHTP implementation program also envisions regular monitoring and evaluation sessions after new investment decisions have been made; this allows for revision of these choices if necessary, with new simulation models and new input data.

Health service delivery is greatly improved by IHTP’s inevitable horizontal integration through coordination of services. If, for example, IHTP is being used for the maternity ward and a neonatal care unit in the same region, services for measuring the baby’s weight need not be taught twice. IHTP identifies similarities of different programs and provides a coordinating capacity, thus reducing costs. The IHTP projects in the past have also demonstrated a consolidation capacity by agreeing on standard practice with each of the various groups involved—whether it be between two hospital departments or between non-governmental organization (NGOs) or United Nations (UN) agencies.

The rapidly changing and increasingly complex health services industry poses significant challenges for health services management, responsible for planning, directing, coordinating and supervising the delivery of healthcare. Improving service delivery and ensuring better access, complicated by technological advance and changes in demography and epidemiology, must involve all the major stakeholders in the health system - the policymakers in ministries of health and public administration, health service managers and workers, public and private providers and clients and communities themselves ( healthsystems/delivery/). IHTP amalgamates the issues of technology, demography and epidemiology into one system for simple comprehension by all various stakeholder to enable them to make more informed decisions and ameliorate health services.

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