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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The evidence we need

At a knowledge translation (kt) conference two years ago in Gatineau, Quebec, the KT research community seemed to agree that value judgments, tacit knowledge and peer opinion will always exert a certain level of influence on health care decision-makers. However, the game-changer was really the power of evidence to inform decisions, making them more transparent, objective and defensible. One can make the leap to say that evidence is more than fundamental to sound decision-making; it is a necessary consideration in the pursuit of something I value even more: wisdom.

Enter the launch of a new online tool called the Evidence-Informed Healthcare Renewal (EIHR) Portal on a McMaster University site to which policy and decision-makers have been turning for a while. The difference is that this portal is the only one of its kind dedicated exclusively to health care renewal in Canada and is the accomplishment of a number of national health care organizations and entities (including the Health Council). As a Health Council representative on the portal steering committee, I can attest that this portal has already met with enthusiasm and support from researchers and many governments. 

I hope you’ll delve into some of the different formats like videos that present rich evidence on innovative practices throughout the country.

From my experience, journalists are well-served by consolidated health system evidence on the Evidence Network, health care professionals are increasingly served through the Canadian Virtual Health Library, and now researchers, policy and decision-makers can turn to the EIHR portal as a comprehensive hub that draws from multiple contributors.

If your area is healthcare renewal, I also invite you to the Health Council’s site because every aspect of our evidence-based reporting is implicitly linked to renewal. We underline all our work with a focus on innovative practices that have the power to transform the system.

“Will it work here?” is the next question you’ll have to answer for yourself. 

Christine Pierroz, Director of Communications, Health Council of Canada

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