Delphi consensus and the role it can play in supporting market access
The Delphi method: widely used in healthcare
The Delphi Method is a well-established and accepted approach to understanding and building expert level of consensus. The method is a systematic and iterative approach to communication and evidence generation that seeks to aggregate expert opinions from a diverse group of experts to generate clarity and support (evidence) based on collective wisdom. It can be used to help forecast future impact, consolidate a position, or to define policy and many sectors are using it today including the public health sector. Many treatment or management guidelines have been developed using a version of the Delphi method applied in healthcare. Interestingly, during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were 52 Delphi projects used to determine the best way ahead.1
The anonymous collection of group opinion coupled with a tightly structured process and quantitatively described results provides a strong level of credibility in the outputs. Healthcare evidence generated in this way is graded in the evidence hierarchy and recognised by HTA bodies around the world.
Additionally, communication or evidence generated using this method is, by definition, peer-advocacy. Because outputs from Delphi programs are generated by stakeholders who represent an important constituent of the health system itself, they help create social proof for the direction recommended as a result of the work. An important coalition of experts now have a clearer and more confident voice to call for change across peer groups and across other disciplines they work with. The larger the group involved, the stronger the peer-advocacy and the social proof. Using an amplified consensus method, Triducive routinely develop consensus with +100 informed stakeholders and sometimes as large as 500 or 1000 with international (above-country) programs.
Typical applications and benefits for market access
Evidence and advocacy developed using Delphi consensus can be applied to a range of market access situations at national and sub-national level:
The benefits of this approach are: