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News from members

News from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, the Colombian Instituto de Investigaciones Clínicas and Duodecim guideline process approved by NICE.

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care was established in 2006 to lead and coordinate improvements in safety and quality in health care across Australia.

It has a wide range of functions involving promotion, support and encouragement of improvements to health care safety and quality in Australia. It also collects, analyses and disseminates information relating to health care safety and quality matters.  Current areas of work include: partnering with consumers, health care associated infections, medication safety, clinical communication, and recognition and response to clinical deterioration.  The Commission is now developing a set of national goals for safety and quality of healthcare in Australia.

Legislation passed in July 2011 made the Commission an independent statutory authority and gave it an expanded role including promotion and supporting the implementation of standards, guidelines and indicators relating to health care safety and quality, and monitoring of their impact.

Further information can be found at

Instituto de Investigaciones Clínicas, Colombia

The Instituto de Investigaciones Clínicas at the National University in Colombia is an academic unit within the School of Medicine, designed to provide technical and methodological support to researchers, clinicians, post graduate students, patients and official health agencies.

Clinicians with masters’ degrees in clinical epidemiology, biostatistics, health economy, social sciences among other professionals form the faculty of the Institute, which provides services in methodological skills for researchers, teaching courses, seminars, postgraduate workshops in evidence based medicine and systematic reviews. A formal postgraduate magister in clinical epidemiology is offered to specialist, primary care physicians, biostatisticians, pharmacists, and registered nurses.

The Institute has been involved in evidence based clinical guidelines in the last ten years, since the creation of the Iberoamerican guidelines network. In this decade, the Institute has acted as a consultant of the Ministry of Health and leads the national program in evidence based clinical guidelines with the official support of the central government. Guidelines in Colombia have addressed topics in tropical medicine, infectious diseases, pregnancy and maternal health and more recently in cancer screening, chronic diseases and substance abuse topics.

A practical manual for developers has been issued recently and is broadly available by internet. This manual offers very useful information about the whole process of guidelines design, construction and implementation and every chapter is the result of a systematic review on every step in developing evidence based guidelines.

The National University has funded a project to launch ten guidelines for high cost, tertiary care problems in surgery, intensive care, the rational use of radiologic images in the diabetic foot, the right use of contrast media in radiologic procedures and in cardiovascular protection. This project included, for the first time in Colombia, economical analysis and equity reflections, to build sound recommendations sensitive to our cultural and financial context.

In the last two years, the Institute has led a national project under the direction of the Ministry of Health and the Science and Technology Agency in Colombia in association with the prestigious Universidad the Antioquia in Medellín, and the Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, to develop guidelines on focused topics in our health care system. This is intended to be the starting point toward a new strategy to improve health care delivery in Colombia, regardless of economic income, social status or insurance programs and coverage.  We have developed the technical and methodological skills to promote the use of evidence based health care, to construct clinical guidelines according to  strict quality criteria, while remaining sensitive to the cultural context and our economical realities. The collaboration program within the mentioned universities moves now towards a national agency of health technology assessment to help government agencies, physicians, providers, patients and policy makers to inform decisions about new or known technologies to be incorporated as services in our health care programs.

All this has been possible due to the collaboration of international groups like NICE, New Zealand Guidelines Group, McMaster University, Cochrane collaboration, Redeguias Iberoamericana, Guiasalud, and G-I-N.  With their continuous support and advice we have improved our knowledge and methodological skills and have had the marvellous opportunity to discuss our local problems and limitations. All of these provide a very interesting source of inspiration.

The Institute is proud to be an organizational member of G-I-N and an official member of the Cochrane collaboration with a recognized systematic review group in sexually transmitted infections. We have had the privilege to attend to the annual G-I-N conferences as speakers or participants. Every meeting has been an opportunity to meet charming and generous people from all around the world and to learn from their experience.

We also have been founders of Redeguías Iberoamericana, the Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American network, a marvelous opportunity to contribute with the promotion of evidence based medicine, systematic reviews and clinical guidelines in the region.

We are aware of the challenge and responsibilities of being a G-I-N member. We will not disappoint the expectations. We need the G-I-N support since there are a lot to learn, but we also know that we have a lot to share!

Rodrigo Pardo, MD. MSc.




Duodecim guideline process approved by NICE

The process used by Duodecim Medical Publications to produce Evidence Based Medicine Guidelines (EBM Guidelines) and Evidence Summaries has been formally approved by NICE’s Accreditation Programme. Duodecim, based in Finland, is the first non-UK organisation to have its guidance production process accredited by NICE since the Accreditation Programme began in 2009. The independent Accreditation Advisory Committee concluded that 21 of the 25 criteria for assessment had been met by Duodecim. The Committee commended Duodecim on their “comprehensive” process. The final accreditation report is available at

The NICE Accreditation Programme evaluates the processes used to develop guidance, which is defined as 'systematically developed statements to guide decisions about appropriate health and social care to improve individual and population health and wellbeing.' This definition covers, for example, clinical guidelines, referral guidelines, public health guidelines, policy guidance, clinical summaries and best practice statements, including public health and social care.

Although UK organisations are the priority for the Programme, applications from international organisations producing English language guidance relevant to the UK care setting are considered for accreditation. It is recommended that international guidance producers contact NICE before submitting an application to verify their eligibility ( NICE charges a registration fee to cover costs for processing accreditation applications from international guidance producers.

Page last updated: Dec 16, 2011
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