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Making sure evidence underpins patient care and safety

8 December 2016

HRB invests €2.25 million to enhance the development of national clinical guidelines and improve patient safety.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) will lead the HRB-Collaboration in Ireland for Clinical Effectiveness Reviews (HRB-CICER) initiative. This initiative will assist the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee in the provision of the most current research evidence to underpin development of National Clinical Guidelines, guidelines that support the best, safest and most cost-effective way to deliver patient care.

The HRB-CICER will bring together a multidisciplinary team supported by experts in HIQA and the HRB Centre for Primary Care Research in RSCI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland). The team will collaborate closely with HSE's multidisciplinary clinical guideline development groups to ensure that their work can be used to inform evidence-based recommendations.

HRB-CICER will provide the clinical guideline development groups with the services they need to: 

  1. rapidly assess the international evidence in the area under consideration in order to design new clinical guidelines 
  2. identify the budget impact of the proposed new guideline 
  3. update prioritised guidelines in an on-going basis (stay up to date).

Speaking about the award HRB Chief Executive, Dr Graham Love said,

‘We need to build public trust and confidence that care in our health service is based on the latest thinking and delivered in line with international standards. This HRB funded project will deliver solid evidence and an economic case to implement robust, reliable clinical guidelines quickly. This will equip health professionals with the know-how they need to deliver care and build patient confidence that they are receiving care in line with best international standards'.

HIQA's Director of Health Technology Assessment and Deputy Chief Executive, Dr Máirín Ryan said,

'Clinical guidelines are important tools to enable clinicians to drive quality, safety and best use of available resources in healthcare. It is important that accurate and reliable evidence is used to develop clinical guidelines. The contract will ensure that the best available evidence is used to support the development of National Clinical Guidelines. This will mean that the public can be assured that the use of National Clinical Guidelines by healthcare providers will optimise outcomes for patients'.

Professor Susan Smith, RCSI, who as Clinical Lead of the HRB-CICER will provide support on selection of clinical endpoints, interpretation of clinical effectiveness, and quality assurance of outputs, also added,

'RCSI are delighted to be working alongside HIQA on this five year project, with a number of RCSI staff supporting the project such as Professor Tom Fahey, Principal Investigator of the HRB Centre for Primary Care Research in RCSI, who will provide methodological and clinical expertise in evidence synthesis and Kate Kelly, Chief Librarian in RCSI, who will support information retrieval and search methods for the systematic reviews'.

Minister for Health, Simon Harris, TD, set the background and context for this initiative at the launch of the National Patient Safety Office this morning. You can read his full speech at the link below. 

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