The Evidence-Based Healthcare Programme (EBHCP) is a cross-departmental initiative of the Faculty of Health Sciences, hosted by Vaccines for Africa Initiative and the School of Public Health and Family Medicine. This initiative coordinates the support provided to students, research staff as well as policy developers interested in utilizing EBHC principles to improve health service delivery. Broadly, the work of the EBHCP falls into three categories: teaching and training, research support, and knowledge translation.
The programme at a glance
What is Evidence-Based Healthcare?
Evidence-Based Healthcare (EBHC), also commonly known as Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) refers to the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current and best evidence in making healthcare decisions. The EBM integrates individual expertise and the best available research evidence.
The process of EBM involves creating a clear and answerable question relevant to a patient or organisation need. Thereafter, there is an a priori documented procedure of: locating, abstracting, analysing and appraising the best available (published and grey literature) evidence to answer the question. The process of EBM also involves evaluation of the quality of the evidence as well as its applicability to a specific setting. The process of EBM goes further to applying the evidence, and, evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of the solution.
Priorities of the Evidence-Based Healthcare Programme
The priorities of the programme are:
Teaching and training in EBM
Promoting and supporting EBM research
Translating EBM research into public health action
Teaching and training in evidence-based medicine
Conducting high quality research using EBM in healthcare requires a high level of technical and diverse skills. It is therefore critical that practical EBR skills are taught to all healthcare practitioners and researchers with interest in the synthesis of evidence. To equip practitioners and researchers with the EBM methodological skills, the programme provides introductory lectures and workshops across different departments within the FHS. Evidence-based healthcare lectures and workshops target students, postdoctoral fellows and staff interested in applying EBM in clinical and non-clinical health disciplines. Teaching and training are particularly useful to postgraduate students wishing to include elements of EBM into literature review chapters of dissertations and theses. The programme facilitates the training of students wishing to undertake a systematic review as a dissertation for post-graduate qualifications such as MPH, MMED and Masters’ in Nursing. The programme also assists students in identifying relevant review topics and selecting supervisors for the identified topics. Check the programme's website for the next lecture and workshop.
Promoting and supporting evidence-based medicine research
A key priority for the programme is to strengthen EBM research infrastructure at the Faculty of Health Sciences. We do this by lending technical expertise and methodological support to researchers from any part of FHS who considering, or already working on, a systematic review.
Translating evidence-based medicine research into public health action
As part of knowledge translation, staff working with evidence-based healthcare have extensive experience in helping policymakers interpret the results of systematic reviews and related EBM activities to strengthen policy formulation.
Evidence-Based Healthcare Programme
Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Cape Town