BIREME has developed actions to promote and provide access to scientific evidence in health for over 15 years. The first activities took place in 2002, when Carol Lefebvre, librarian from the York University, in Toronto, Canada, gave the course Evidence-based Medicine. As from 2003, thanks to an agreement with the Cochrane Collaboration, the Brazilian Cochrane Center and PAHO, BIREME made available the Cochrane Library at the Virtual Health Library (VHL) and at the Evidence Portal, first for Brazilian users, and in the following year, to Latin American and Caribbean users. In 2015, the license to access the Cochrane Library through the VHL was discontinued, together with the Evidence Portal. BIREME continues to managed health information in the VHL, promoting its access and use for decision making in health.
Considering the huge volume of information available at the VHL (approximately 27 million references of documents), the need to facilitate access and use of evidence in decision-making processes in health, and the opportunity and relevance required by users (decision makers), BIREME is currently defining and implementing services, products and actions that better fulfill these processes and foster a debate to answer some questions, such as:
Which opportunities would BIREME better use to efficiently work in promoting access and use of evidence for decision making in health? Which partnerships could be established so that the theme of evidence be efficiently managed regarding BIREME information services and products? Which contents should be included in the Evidence Portal, and how could they be better organized?
BIREME held the workshop “Evidence to support decision-making processes in health”, which aimed to identify opportunities and generate recommendations of activities, products and services related to information, in order to promote access, use and application of evidence in decisions in health.
The main suggestions and recommendations of the group include:
– To facilitate access to evidence providing different routes to access based on the type of users’ needs, in a friendly and easy manner.
– To develop capacities for the identification and use of evidence for librarians and users expanding the supply of open educational resources, using resources developed by other initiative and networks (EQUATOR and Cochrane, among others), strengthening the repository of research for types of studies and other topics related to health priorities in the countries. Moreover, it was suggested to create a directory of courses, and to expand the network of librarians specialized in search strategies.
– To create a directory of courses and expand the network of librarians specialized in developing search strategies
– To apply intelligence to promote evidence, adding value to evidence, connecting local evidence to scientific evidence, and including links among the LILACS contents and the articles of the Pan American Journal of Public Health, for instance.
– To give PAHO priority as a user of evidence and establish mechanisms to map its needs, identifying the major sources of information that could meet these needs.
– To support the establishment of Evidence Groups, and create a network of evidence specialists, coordinated by the PAHO Brazil Office, empowering the EVIPNet network at the Department of Science and Technology, of the Secretariat of Science, Technology and Strategic Supplies of the Brazilian Ministry of Health (DECIT/SCTIE/MS). Moreover, it is also recommended to strengthen a network of experts to prepare GRADE guidelines that support quality guidelines in Brazil.
The workshop was held at BIREME facilities, in São Paulo, on December 6-7. Dr. Ludovic Reveiz and Dr. Luis Gabriel Cuervo, professionals from the PAHO Headquarters took part at it, as well as Dr. Ulysses Panisset, researcher at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, and BIREME employees. Dr. Francisco Becerra, PAHO/WHO Assistant Director, also participated in this activity, together with BIREME Director, Dr. Diego González.