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Conferences of note

I’m on conference strike! International conferences that is. I’ve been travelling to the other side of the world (apart from countries in Asia) every year since 2009. It has gotten a bit wearing. So, I’m on a conference strike (temporary mind you) for a little while.

There are 2 conferences and 1 workshop in Europe that I would attend if I weren’t on strike. One is the ICML+EAHIL conference at Dublin Castle, Ireland. The program looks great – check it out here. Michelle Kraft is one of the keynote speakers. Registration is now open.

The other conference I would’ve attended is the International Clinical Librarians Conference (ICLC). I attended last year when ICLC paired with the MLA annual meeting in Toronto. It was full on but great. The ICLC organisers are lovely people and it is well worth attending. Planning on visiting the UK for a holiday this year? Why not combine it with a conference? Registrations are now open!

I used to be Chair-Elect and then Chair of the HTAi Information Retrieval Group and part of my role was organising and running the annual pre-conference Advanced Searching workshop. I’m on the Executive Committee assisting the current Chair and Chair-elect and one of those roles is to help advertise the workshop. It looks great though, and early bird registration has been extended to the end of March. You don’t have to attend the HTAi conference itself, though some of the program and workshops on Saturday before the IRG workshop look good. The IRG workshop is called Text Analysis Tools And Rapid Reviews: Practical Guidance For Advanced Information Retrieval. Click here for the HTAi 2017 conference website. This year HTAi2017 is in Rome.

So what is the next conference/workshop I’m going to attend that is a flight away? It will probably be Health Libraries Australia annual PD day, to be held in Perth this July. I’ve not been to WA before, so it could be an interesting trip.




AHRQ Patient Safety Evidence Reports

AHRQ released the Making Healthcare Safer report in 2013. Included in this report as separate downloadable chapters are 22  patient safety strategies (including VT prevention, medicine reconciliation, presure ulcer prevention, team training). Most of these strategies have  strong evidence behind them, and the others with less available evidence show promise but are not practised widely. The full list of strategies is available here.

A Systematic Review of Methods for Health Care Technology Horizon Scanning

A Systematic Review of Methods for Health Care Technology Horizon Scanning

Structured Abstract
Objectives. Since September 2010, under contract with the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), ECRI Institute has been establishing a national program to conduct horizon scanning of emerging health technology. The program’s main purpose is to better inform investments in patient-centered outcomes research at AHRQ by systematically identifying and monitoring target technologies to create an inventory of technologies that have the highest potential for impact on clinical care, the health care system, patient outcomes, and cost. We conducted this study to identify existing best practices and effective methods for health technology horizon scanning and to provide input to AHRQ to optimize its horizon scanning program.

Methods. We performed a comprehensive search for both peer-reviewed and gray literature to identify existing horizon scanning methods for emerging health technologies. We searched major medical databases, including MEDLINE, EMBASETM, CINAHL(r), PsycINFO(r), and the Cochrane Library. We also conducted targeted searches of digital libraries, relevant non-health-care-focused journals and databases, and the Web sites of the organizations that have extensive experience in technology horizon scanning or forecasting. We further sought input from a panel of experts and potential users of horizon scanning to identify additional methods. A two-day expert panel meeting was held in June 2011 to discuss the methods identified and potential approaches to incorporate the methods into AHRQ’s horizon scanning process.

Results. Our search identified 23 formally established health technology horizon scanning programs, most of which are members of the International Information Network on New and Emerging Health Technologies (EuroScan). We also identified less structured horizon scanning activities performed by other entities, including U.S. government agencies and nongovernmental entities. These programs or activities often have different goals. As a result, their target technologies, time horizon of interest, and methods used for scanning or technology assessment may also vary. However, formally established programs share two sequential components in their horizon scanning process: (1) identification and monitoring of technologies of interest and (2) evaluation of potential impacts of the identified technologies. Most commonly used methods include searching a wide spectrum of sources-electronic and nonelectronic-to identify potential target technologies and seeking input from experts to pri!
oritize or evaluate the technologies identified.

Conclusions. Existing horizon scanning programs use different methods to identify and assess emerging health technologies. The choice of the methods for AHRQ’s horizon scanning program should be based on the goal, scope of work, time frame, and funding for the program. It appears that optimization of a horizon scanning program may take longer than a few years.