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Evidence Based Health Care (EBHC): Policy Makers

Resources for evidence based searching, evidence based practice skill development, and teaching EBHC


Great for advocates, policy makers, journalistsAlliance for Health Policy and Systems Research An international collaboration based in the WHO. It aims to promote the generation and use of health policy and systems research as a means to improve the health systems of developing countries. 

Canadian Health Services Research Foundation Promotes and funds management and policy research in health services and nursing to increase the quality, relevance and usefulness of this research for health-system policy makers and managers. In addition, the foundation works with these health-system decision makers to support and enhance their use of research evidence when addressing health management and policy challenges.

Great for advocates, policy makers, journalistsCenter for Evidence-Based Policy The mission of the Oregon Health Sciences University's Center for Evidence-based Policy is to address policy challenges by applying the best available evidence through self-governing communities of interest.

Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group (EPOC) EPOC is a Collaborative Review Group of the Cochrane Collaboration, which produces systematic reviews of educational, behavioural, financial, organisational and regulatory interventions designed to improve health professional practice and the organisation of health care services.

Quick or easy access to quality filtered or evidence based information Current awareness or alerting service via RSS or email. Cochrane Library - via Wiley   Users Guide 
Browse the EPOC (Effective Practice and Organization of Care) Cochrane Group by clicking the Browse "By Review Group" link.

Premier evidence based medicine resource composed of
- the Database of Systematic Reviews containing systematic reviews and meta-analyses conducted by Cochrane Study Groups,
- the Database of Reviews of Effects including systematic reviews and meta-analyses from non-Cochrane sources, many with structured abstracts with comments on the reviews and full text of the review is available via Find Journals,
- Central Register of Controlled Trials indexes many trials not included in MEDLINE,

- HTA and NHS EED include evidence based reviews of technology and economic issues.

CEA Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Registry  The CEA Registry is a comprehensive database of 2,913 cost-utility analyses on a wide variety of diseases and treatments. 

Great for advocates, policy makers, journalistsAids for building evidence based critical appraisal skillsChristopher J CJ Jewell."Developing good taste in evidence": facilitators of and hindrances to evidence-informed health policymaking in state government."  The Milbank quarterly 2008, 86 (2), p. 177. PMID: 18522611  Policymaking is a highly complex process that is often difficult to predict or influence. Most of the scholarship examining the role of research evidence in policymaking has focused narrowly on characteristics of the evidence and the interactions between scientists and government officials. The real-life context in which policymakers are situated and make decisions also is crucial to the development of evidence-informed policy.

Disease Mongering   This website is devoted to the study of  the techniques of 'disease-mongering', in particular the expansion of the boundaries of disorders, the medicalization of normal life events. The portrayal of risk factors as diseases is prevalent in the medical marketing world. A tongue-in-cheek  video looks at the strategies used to create new diseases and promote their treatments to the public. Use the  Disease Mongering Engine  to make up your own disease names and demonstrate how easily irresponsible individuals and groups can harness the terminology of psychiatry and medicine for profit. (More on this tool)

Center for Health Policy, Law and Management This site contributes to evidence-based health policy decisions and is intended for use by the U.S. health policy community, media and general public. 

European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies   The European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies supports and promotes evidence-based health policy-making through comprehensive and rigorous analysis of the dynamics of health care systems in Europe. The Policy Briefs are very helpful. 

The Observatory is a partnership between the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, the Governments of Belgium, Finland, Norway, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden, the Veneto Region of Italy, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

Evidence-Informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) EVIPNet is an initiative to promote the systematic use of health research evidence in policy-making. Focusing on low and middle-income countries, EVIPNet promotes partnerships at the country level between policy-makers, researchers and civil society in order to facilitate both policy development and policy implementation through the use of the best scientific evidence available.

Evidence Network Monitors news and events in the evidence-based policy and practice (EBPP) world, provides access to a wide range of information resources in social and public policy, acts as a gateway to the literature of EBPP, offers the opportunity to become part of the international EBPP community as an Evidence Network Associate. The Centre also hosts a peer reviewed journal, Evidence & Policy.

Guide to Community Preventive Services Evidence-based recommendations for programs and policies to promote population health.

Health Evidence Network Gives rapid access to reliable health information and evidence. Provides: answers to policy questions in the form of evidence-based reports and summaries; and easy access to evidence and information from a number of web sites, databases and documents.

Great for advocates, policy makers, journalistsHealth News Review is a website dedicated to improving the accuracy of news stories about medical treatments, tests and procedures and helping consumers evaluate the evidence for and against new ideas in health care.

Health System Evidence  Systematic reviews can save managers and policymakers a great deal of time by providing a synthesis of the research literature on a given topic that has been prepared in a systematic and transparent way. To help managers and policymakers find and use these reviews, the McMaster University’s Program in Policy Decision-Making (PPD), in partnership with the Canadian Cochrane Network and Centre (CCNC), identified as many management- and policy-relevant reviews as possible, categorized them in ways that will make it easy to retrieve citation details and summaries of them (whenever possible), and made the database available online.

ICSI Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement  ICSI is a non-profit organization that brings together diverse groups to transform the health care system so that it delivers patient-centered and value-driven care. It is comprised of 53 medical groups and sponsored by six Minnesota and Wisconsin health plans.  

Knowing What Works in Healthcare: A roadmap for the nation  There is currently heightened interest in optimizing health care through the generation of new knowledge on the effectiveness of health care services. The United States must substantially strengthen its capacity for assessing evidence on what is known and not known about "what works" in health care. Even the most sophisticated clinicians and consumers struggle to learn which care is appropriate and under what circumstances. Knowing What Works in Health Care looks at the three fundamental health care issues in the United States--setting priorities for evidence assessment, assessing evidence (systematic review), and developing evidence-based clinical practice guidelines--and how each of these contributes to the end goal of effective, practical health care systems. This book provides an overall vision and roadmap for improving how the nation uses scientific evidence to identify the most effective clinical services. Knowing What Works in Health Care gives private and public sector firms, consumers, health care professionals, benefit administrators, and others the authoritative, independent information required for making essential informed health care decisions.

McMaster Health Forum  McMaster Health Forum strives to be a leading hub for improving health outcomes through collective problem solving for concerned citizens and influential thinkers and doers. Click on Topics for overviews, and click on Products for a variety of materials.  

Milbank Memorial Fund The Milbank Memorial Fund is an endowed national foundation that engages in non-partisan analysis, study, research and communication on significant issues in health policy. The Fund makes available the results of its work in meetings with decision makers, reports and books, and publishes the Milbank Quarterly, a peer-reviewed journal of public health and health care policy.

Policy Brief Resources  Assessment resources and guidance. Example of policy brief: Integrated Health Care for People with Chronic Conditions [FTP Login] 

Aids for building evidence based critical appraisal skills Program in Policy Decision-Making Aims to improve understanding of the public policy decision-making process and factors that influence policy decision-making, and to derive concrete implications for research funders, research organizations, knowledge brokers, and policy decision-makers about how best to transfer and facilitate the uptake of research knowledge.

Great for advocates, policy makers, journalistsSUPPORT: SUPporting POlicy relevant Reviews and Trials  SUPPORT provides focused, quality summaries of research to use for health policy making in the field of maternal and child health.  SUPPORT also provides materials to facilitate the conduct of RCTs.

SUPPORT will develop a range of tools and workshops to improve the production and use of policy-relevant research in low and middle-income countries. The project builds on two existing networks with experience in research and linkage to policy-making, one in Latin America and one in sub-Saharan Africa.

Thomas Legislative Information   U.S. federal legislative search engine. 

Great for advocates, policy makers, journalistsUnderstanding Evidence-based Healthcare: A Foundation for Action   This web course has been created by the United States Cochrane Center as part of a project undertaken by Consumers United for Evidence-based Healthcare (CUE), and is designed to help consumer advocates understand the fundamentals of evidence-based healthcare concepts and skills. Course registration will be offered every month. Participants will have three months to complete the course and must commit to completing all evaluations.   Gateway to U.S. federal, state, county, and municipal websites.

Aids for building evidence based critical appraisal skills  Use of Stories in Clinical Research and Health Policy    JAMA. 2005;294(22):2901-2904.   These thoughtful suggestions for policy makers outline techniques for telling compelling anecdotes when data is not sufficient to express specific concerns in the health policy arena.

Aids for building evidence based critical appraisal skills WHO SURE Guides  Advice and planning tools for preparing and using evidence based policy tools. 

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