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Evidence to Improve Care

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To promote health care supported by the best evidence, we use established scientific methods to analyze evidence and develop assessments of new and existing health care services and medical devices.

These reviews, called health technology assessments, also include recommendations on whether or not these services and devices should be publicly funded.

Before being finalized, each health technology assessment is posted for feedback for 21 days. All feedback received within that 21-day consultation period is considered for inclusion in our final reports and recommendations.

For further information, please contact us at

The following evidence-based health technology assessments are now open for feedback:

People with diabetes are at risk of developing foot ulcers. When ulcers do not heal despite optimal wound care, hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be tried.

Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee Recommendations

  • The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee recommends continuing to publicly fund hyperbaric oxygen therapy for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers in patients who have an ulcer of Wagner grade 3 or higher who have undergone surgical debridement of an infected foot or whose ulcers have not healed within four weeks despite optimal wound care, especially including the use of proper offloading

  • Given the high degree of uncertainty surrounding the clinical benefit of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee recommends against providing public funding to support new infrastructure for hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Read the full OHTAC Recommendation report

About 15% to 25% of patients with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer, which is an open sore on the foot. When diabetic foot ulcers do not heal, the affected foot may need to be amputated; people with diabetes experience lower limb amputation at about 20 times the rate of people without diabetes. When the foot ulcer does not heal despite optimal wound care, other therapeutic interventions may be offered, one of which is hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

This review compares the safety, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of standard wound care plus hyperbaric oxygen therapy versus standard wound care alone for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. The review also examines the lived experience of patients who have undergone treatment with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Health Quality Ontario Reviews Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for the Treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

In hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a patient enters a chamber that may fit a single person or multiple individuals. They are exposed to 100% oxygen while the atmospheric pressure is increased. To receive treatment, patients typically attend a hyperbaric oxygen therapy clinic five times a week and sit in a chamber for approximately 90 minutes at each visit.

Date posted: October 24, 2016
Closing date for public comment: November 14, 2016 at 11:59 p.m.


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Health Technology Assessment at Health Quality Ontario

As part of our core function to promote health care supported by the best available evidence, we use established scientific methods to analyze the evidence for a wide range of health interventions, including diagnostic tests, medical devices, interventional and surgical procedures, health care programs and models of care. These analyses are informed by input from a range of individuals, including patients and clinical experts. The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC) – a standing sub-committee of the Health Quality Ontario board of directors – reviews the evidence and makes recommendations about whether health care interventions should be publicly funded or not. Draft recommendations are posted on the Health Quality Ontario website for feedback. Final recommendations are approved by our board of directors and then shared with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. For more detailed information, visit our Evidence to Improve Care pages.

Health Technology Assessments

Evidence-based reviews, with recommendations about public funding, on a variety of important health care services and medical devices

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