Background: The importance of relating clinical practice more closely to evidence is recognised by health and social care professionals and policy makers alike. However a significant obstacle is the lack of time to locate and read the literature relevant to clinician’s areas of practice. In addition, the expectation to assess its quality and deal with conflicting information can be challenging. Therefore, we have developed the Palliative Care Evidence Review Service (PaCERS) to support professionals and other decision makers working in palliative care.
Objectives: To describe the development of PaCERS methodology, used to conduct rapid evidence reviews on questions of current and direct importance to clinical care or service delivery, producing critically appraised summaries of best available evidence, in the shortest possible timeframe.
Methods: Our methodology was developed using streamlined systematic review methods to identify and appraise high quality evidence. We have involved stakeholders to refine our methodology and reporting process, and to achieve consensus on how best PaCERS can serve the palliative care community and engage policy makers in the uptake of evidence for health policy.
Results: Findings will be presented highlighting methodology development, and the rapid reviews conducted thus far, with an emphasis on demonstrating clinical engagement and impact on professionals and other decision makers working in palliative care.
Conclusions:The service is unique in responding to external clinical/organisational calls for evidence rather than itself defining the review agenda. It will impact directly on palliative care clinicians and other decision makers, and indirectly on patients/carers, by allowing integration of research evidence into service development and practice at pace, and further embed research as part of daily practice. This approach could be utilised in other healthcare disciplines to produce high quality evidence-based information in shortened timeframes.