New source of high-quality clinical information for the national health system

Originally published in the Portuguese daily newspaper i. English translation prepared by António Vaz Carneiro.

From now on a digital website with systematic information on clinical studies will allow doctors, nurses, pharmacists and even patients/consumers to clarify their questions concerning treatments (drug or otherwise).

This platform will be integrated in the newly inaugurated Portuguese Branch of the Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre (an organization present in more than 100 countries making this type of information freely available).

In Portugal this Branch will be coordinated by António Vaz Carneiro, MD, PhD, FACP, Head of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Lisbon, one of the partners in Portugal. The Scientific Director is João Costa, MD, PhD.

From a practical standpoint, all stakeholders – healthcare professionals, health managers (hospitals or primary care centres), consumers, and policy makers – will be able to get responses about therapies (and more) from a high-quality systematic review based on the best and most relevant clinical studies published. António Vaz Carneiro stated that, based on this type of information, for example a doctor can write a clinical practice guideline, and a health authority a report on health technology assessment (just to mention a few examples).

The Portuguese Branch of the Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre will aggregate - on a voluntary basis - medical doctors, clinical researchers, methodologists, etc. that will serve as a point of information about health by translating a significant number of Cochrane systematic reviews into Portuguese on prevalent conditions in Portugal like cardiovascular disease, oncology, neurology, etc. as well as publishing new systematic reviews on these subjects.

The Portuguese Branch will establish partnerships with the Portuguese speaking countries (Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, etc.) in terms of access to this information, as well as collaborating and developing clinical and epidemiological research centres at their national health services.

In Portugal the Branch has three units: at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Lisbon, the Portuguese Collaborating Centre of the Iberoamerican Cochrane Network (headed by Vaz Carneiro), and the Movement Disorders Review Group (headed by João Costa). The third is the Porto Unit of the Portuguese Branch, located at CINTESIS at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Porto, and headed by Altamiro da Costa Pereira, MD, PhD.

Those responsible for the Portuguese Branch strongly believe that this new organization will contribute to improve the quality of care at the National Health System, by producing and use of trusted and relevant clinical information.

The original article is available in Portuguese at the link provided below.

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Updated on: July 1, 2014, 11:56