Czech Evidence-Based Healthcare Centre Ranked as a “Centre of Excellence”

EBHC team and their co-workers
Photo: EBHC
thursday 12. january 2017, 12:48 - Text: Velena Mazochová

The Czech Republic (Central European) Centre for Evidence-Based Healthcare at the Department of Social Medicine and Public Health of the UP Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry reinforced its position in the international affiliation of institutes by the Joanna Briggs Institute of the University of Adelaide, Australia. It has advanced into the “Centre of Excellence” category after a successful monitoring period.

Evidence-Based Healthcare (EBHC) represents an approach which utilises the newest science and research achievements and transfers them into the practice of medical and non-medical healthcare disciplines. “It is a complex of activities that in the healthcare practice lead to careful decisions on whether it is meaningful to utilise research knowledge with a patient’s specific health problem in a given situation. The physicians and nurses may use this way of reasoning in their clinical practice, in supervisory decisions, and when they formulate various recommendations supported by the best accessible research evidence,” explained Miloslav Klugar, director of the Olomouc Centre.

The EBHC Centre was founded at the Department of Social Medicine and Public Health in 2013 as a branch of the prestigious Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI). It was consequently granted a license for teaching the international Comprehensive Systematic Review Training Program and the Clinical Fellowship Program. Its team, led by Miloslav Klugar and Jana Marečková, engages in systematic reviews, training, education, evaluations and editorial work, and development of new methodologies for the secondary research of diagnostic precision and expert recommendations. Members of the team also take part in international methodological groups.

During the previous monitoring period, the Centre passed challenging evaluation criteria. Members had to show certain qualities in the creation of protocols and complete systematic reviews, have a successful publishing record and obtain a certificate of completion of a special course. “The director is also obliged to take part in consultations of the European centres’ directors, and in the annual consultations with the JBI management in Adelaide. And he has to present annual reports of the Centre’s activities, for which there are clear evaluation rules in the JBI network,” added Jana Marečková, Deputy Director of the Centre. As she pointed out, the evaluation criteria for the Centres of Excellence are even more demanding.

The Olomouc professionals look after more than 200 students every year. “For example, we train them how to prepare details for searching information in the medical databases and how to sort information effectively. They will need these skills in their professions because there are millions of research articles in the databases now. We also show them procedures to evaluate the methodological quality and clinical impact of the treatises. We teach them to make judgements and think critically. They might get into situations in their lives where the learned and standard procedures wouldn’t be effective or applicable, and they will have to look for different solutions,” stated Marečková.

The Olomouc Centre uses the EBHC methods when creating their own systematic reviews and when co-operating within the international teams. “In doing so, we have learned a lot during the past period, and we relay our knowledge and skills by means of various courses. They are focused on initial skills or procedures involved in the creation of the systematic reviews which generate robust data,” said Marečková. She concluded that in addition to the programme for academic professionals, the EBHC offers a half-year programme resulting in more effective practical skills in a specific healthcare institution. The first activities in the new year will be the basic EBHC course in January, and for February the Centre is preparing a comprehensive course for the creation of systematic reviews.

For more information about the Czech Republic (Central European) Centre for Evidence-Based Healthcare: A Joanna Briggs Institute Centre of Excellence, visit its website.