TABLE 2-1 Examples of Organizations That Conduct Evidence Syntheses

Organization

Description

AHRQ EPCs

In 1997, AHRQ launched an initiative establishing 12 EPCs in an effort to promote evidence-based practice in everyday care. AHRQ awards five-year contracts to EPCs to develop evidence reports and technology assessments. Currently, there are 13 EPCs in both university and private settings.

BCBSA TEC

BCBSA founded TEC in 1985 to provide decision makers with objective assessments of clinical effectiveness. TEC serves a wide range of clients in both the private and the public sectors, including Kaiser Permanente and CMS. Assessments are reviewed by the Medical Advisory Panel, consistinging of experts in various specialties. TEC is a designated EPC, and its products are publicly available on its website.

Cochrane Collaboration

The Cochrane Collaboration is an independent, nonprofit organization that produces and disseminates systematic reviews of health care interventions. Founded in 1993, Cochrane is the largest and best known multinational organization working to evaluate health interventions based on systematic reviews. Its reviews are prepared by health professionals and others, including consumers, who work as part of one or more of the 51 Cochrane Review Groups. Editorial teams oversee the preparation and maintenance of the reviews and the application of quality standards, as documented in a regularly updated Handbook. Cochrane’s contributors are funded from a variety of sources including governments, home institutions, and private funds. Commercial funding of review groups, centers, and the annual Colloquium is not allowed, however. Cochrane is also funded through royalties emanating from subscriptions to The Cochrane Library. Cochrane review abstracts, and plain language summaries are made available to the public for free and complete reviews are available via subscription to The Cochrane Library, which includes a variety of databases of reviews and controlled trials. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the most important of these, included more than 4,900 protocols and reviews as of Issue 3, 2007.

ECRI Institute

The ECRI Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides technology assessments and cost-effectiveness analyses to ECRI Institute members and clients, including hospitals; health systems; public and private payers; U.S. federal and state government agencies; and ministries of health, voluntary sector organizations, associations, and accrediting agencies. Its products and methods are generally not available to the public. The ECRI Institute is a designated EPC and is also a Collaborating Center of the World Health Organization.

Hayes, Inc.

Hayes, Inc., is a for-profit organization, established in 1989, to develop health technology assessments for health organizations, including health plans, managed care companies, hospitals, and health networks. Hayes, Inc., produces several professional products, including the Hayes Briefs, the Hayes Directory, and the Hayes Outlook. Its products and methods are generally not available to the public.

SOURCES: AHRQ (2007c); BCBSA (2007b); Cochrane Collaboration (2007); ECRI Institute (2007); Hayes, Inc. (2007).



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