Health systems want access to the best evidence to provide high-quality care to patients. However, they have limited time and resources to identify and incorporate evidence into practice.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) funds 12 Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPCs) across the USA and Canada to conduct rigorous, comprehensive evidence reviews of the scientific literature. The EPCs conducted pilot projects to improve the usability of evidence for health systems.
EPCs identified healthcare decisionmakers and worked with them to identify their information needs. Interviews were conducted with patients, health system leaders, decisionmakers, and/or frontline staff to understand how evidence is currently obtained, which information is most relevant, and how evidence can be presented to facilitate incorporation of the findings into practice. An evaluation form was developed for EPCs to enter data about their projects.
Nine pilot projects were conducted. Projects piloted a range of methods and tools to facilitate the dissemination or implementation of information from evidence syntheses including: informational videos, cyberseminars, decision aids, clinical pathways, evidence-to-decision frameworks, and interactive tools to explore the underlying evidence. Preliminary findings from these pilots include:
1) ‘key messages’ from AHRQ EPC reports are important to include in disseminating evidence reviews for decisionmakers; and
2) results from evidence reviews need to be integrated with other local health system data, knowledge, and resources in order to be used in practice.
These pilots may provide helpful information to improve the dissemination and implementation processes for evidence synthesis reports. Lessons learned from these pilot projects hold promise for enhancing the rapidity of uptake for new findings and to reduce the amount of time it takes for evidence to be implemented into practice.
Patient or healthcare consumer involvement:
Health systems exist to provide care to patients and the public. This pilot focused largely on engaging health system leaders and providers to understand the barriers to finding and using evidence in practice. All products seek to improve the uptake of best evidence to optimize patient outcomes and improve healthcare experiences.