Appendix A: Glossary

Appendix A: Glossary


The decision to use or deliver a particular therapeutic product or intervention.

Adoption support resources

Web-based resources that support the implementation of NICE guidance or recommendations for health technologies.

Barriers and levers to adoption

Factors that can affect how therapeutic products or interventions are introduced, including:

  • Significant changes to current processes or procedures.

  • The time available to make changes to ways of working.

  • The time available for training.

  • Cost and budgetary priorities.

  • Management leadership for innovation.

  • Understanding the need and benefit for making changes.

  • Being able to implement changes.

  • User acceptance (this may include both patients and healthcare professionals).

Care pathway

This refers to the sequence of practices, procedures and treatments that should be used by health and social care professionals when a person has a particular condition. The aim is to improve the quality of care.

Cost effectiveness

Value for money. A test or treatment is said to be 'cost effective' if it leads to better health than using resources in other ways.


All types of measurements and tests that are used to evaluate a person's condition, such as physiological measurements, laboratory tests and pathology tests, imaging tests, and endoscopy.

Diagnostics advisory committee

The diagnostics advisory committee develops recommendations for new and existing diagnostic technologies in the NHS.

Diagnostics guidance

NICE guidance about the adoption and use of a diagnostic technology.

External review

Quality assurance of the adoption support resources by people who do not work for NICE but who have signed a non-disclosure agreement.

External stakeholder

An organisation with an interest in a topic on which NICE is developing diagnostics guidance. Stakeholders may be:

  • Manufacturers, developers, distributors or agents of technologies.

  • National patient and carer organisations.

  • NHS organisations.

  • National organisations representing healthcare professionals.

Health technologies

Any drug, device or intervention used to promote health, prevent and treat disease, and improve rehabilitation and long-term care.

Internal review

Quality assurance of the adoption support resources by staff employed by NICE.


The process of putting guidance into practice.

Local practice collection

The NICE local practice collection brings together case studies from projects happening around the country.

Medical devices

All products, except medicines, used in healthcare for the diagnosis, prevention, monitoring or treatment of illness or disability.

Medical technology

A medical technology is any instrument, apparatus, appliance, material or other article, whether used alone or in combination, including the software necessary for its application, intended to:

  • diagnose, prevent, monitor, treat or alleviate disease

  • diagnose, monitor, treat, alleviate or compensate for an injury or disability

  • investigate, replace or modify the anatomy or a physiological process

  • control conception.

Medical technologies advisory committee

The medical technologies advisory committee develops recommendations for new and existing medical technologies in the NHS.

Medical technologies evaluation programme

The NICE medical technologies evaluation programme selects and evaluates new or innovative medical technologies (including devices and diagnostics).

Patient outcomes

People's health outcomes from following the care pathway. These outcomes usually result from the treatment that follows the use of a diagnostic technology. These outcomes include benefits and harms from either the diagnostic technology or the treatment.

Publication executive

NICE directors who approve all NICE guidance for publication.


Document created at the start of producing a piece of guidance outlining what the guidance will and will not cover. It provides a detailed framework for the evaluation and defines the disease, the patients, the technologies, the outcomes, and the costs that will be covered by the evaluation, as well as the questions the evaluation aims to address. The final version of the scope is used as a starting point for developing the guidance.

Technology appraisals guidance

Technology appraisal guidance is sets of recommendations on the use of new and existing medicines in the NHS.

Health technology adoption manager

A member of the adoption team who is responsible for project managing and developing the adoption support resources.