EHMA YAC Blog – Issue 4 – Curling in healthcare – to facilitate implementation of evidence-based practice

19 April 2018


Knowing how to treat the patient in front of you is not really a problem for healthcare professionals today in the vast information society we all are a part of. The problem is knowing exactly which investigation, treatment or medication is right for the patient in front of me out of the hundred different options a simple Google search will tell me. So how do we guide our staff to choose the right medication or treatment? Is curling the way forward?

Evidence-based practice (EBP) was instigated by Archie Cochrane’s questioning of the validity behind doctors’ different medical decisions. Cochrane meant that if systematic tests were carried out on how different treatments may change the results, so called randomised controlled trials, ineffective treatments and investigations could be eliminated.

The most common definition of EBP is from Dr. David Sackett. EBP is “the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of the individual patient. It means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research.” The best research evidence is usually found in clinically relevant research that has been conducted using sound methodology. But how do we get knowledge into practice?

The translation of knowledge to practice might need a little help on the way. To use facilitators in healthcare as a way of aiding healthcare professionals to make the right decisions is a strategy that have been used in Sweden for quite some time. However, as Sweden is building a new national system for knowledge management, in what seems to be supersonic speed, it urges us as policy makers, managers and researchers to really look into our facilitators’ knowledge of how to, exactly, implement knowledge. What knowledge do our facilitators have to implement EBP and how do we support them? The new Swedish system for knowledge translation will through structured national expert groups provide Swedish healthcare with a consensus of evidence covering the most of public healthcare today, which will challenge everyone in healthcare to evaluate and in some cases lead to change of practice. However, how fast can we change practice, with or without facilitators?

Research shows that with knowledge of implementation approximately 80 percent of planned change will occur after three years. Without knowledge of implementation 14 percent of the planned change will occur – after approximately 17 years. That says it all – curling is needed if we want to be able to provide our population with an evidence-based healthcare.

So, to facilitate or not – is not really the question. The question is this: How do we facilitate implementation of new evidence in the most evidence-based way?

Helena de la Cour – EHMA YAC, April 2018


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I have been active in EHMA since the first years of the '90s and I have seen its evolution from a small association of members interested in sharing knowledge on health management practices to the current status of reference and advisory key player for EU, health systems and organisations, stakeholders associations, industry and universities. EHMA is now a unique knowledge hub, policy advisor, community of practice and network of best in class organisations involved in health policy and management. A place where health managers can build their competences, policy-makers and stakeholder associations envision how to implement and sustain change through health management, industry leaders understand how to engage more effectively with health organisations and systems. The right place to nurture and grow health management capabilities and capacity for every stakeholder of health systems.

Prof. Federico Lega, University of Milan, Italy

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Prof. Todorka Kostadinova, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria

I enjoy the high level of interaction and engagement in EHMA’s activities, in particular during the annual conference where the panel discussions are rich and well prepared. As a hospital manager and professor of health management, EHMA motivates and inspires me to be creative. You go back home feeling energised from seeing old friends and making new connections, as well as being convinced of serving as EHMA’s ambassador. It’s a strong feeling of interdisciplinary engagement, but it also feels like being part of family-like community.

Prof. Sandra C. Buttigieg, University of Malta, Malta

EHMA is a pre-eminent organisation for everyone working in planning, managing and delivering health services across Europe. As a long standing member of EHMA I have always been impressed by the vibrant community of managers, researchers and academics it has created and by the many opportunities for sharing knowledge and funding opportunities it has brought to its members. Its international scope is impressive and its impact is often felt in management and research across European and national health systems.

Prof. Axel Kaehne, Edge Hill University, UK

Health workforce has become more essential in operating, managing and maintaining health systems lately, particularly in crisis and emergency situations. European healthcare professions and the workforce need to be high on the agenda of managers and decision makers. The Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University in Hungary is a longstanding EHMA member, because it connects us with collaborators and experts, with whom we can have complex debates, from whom we can learn and at the end find solutions in various challenging fields of healthcare management.

Dr Eszter Kovács, Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University, Hungary

As a hospital administrator and health management professor, I see on a daily basis that the healthcare challenges require talented and skilled managers to transform it. the EHMA membership has been beneficial to bring healthcare management research and education to the demanding healthcare services world, promoting healthcare management competencies and knowledge creation.

Dr Alexandre Lourenco, APAH - Association of Portuguese Hospital Managers, Portugal

Many healthcare systems in Europe and beyond are facing similar challenges which require innovative and creative solutions. EHMA’s annual conference, webinars, Programme Directors’ group and other activities and resources provide incredible opportunities for networking, connecting and sharing experiences. A distinct feature of EHMA is the diversity of members with representation from many countries, sectors and different communities of practice – academic, policy-makers, practitioners, managers, leaders and students. The annual conference is a highlight in the calendar year, offering a friendly, fun and learningful environment for emerging and established members to engage, collaborate and meet up with old and new friends. I am proud to be a member of the EHMA Board.

Prof. Ann Mahon, University of Manchester, UK

Society evolution, pandemics and ageing modify health needs. So, health policies and services are to change dramatically. EHMA, through webinars, workshops and annual conference provides an excellent insight to a professional changing world, favouring closeness to management innovation and the protagonists of these changes. As a primary care services’ manager, participating in EHMA activities is really worth it and allows to involve oneself in the innovation processes.

Dr Antoni Peris Grao, Consorci Castelldefels Agents de Salut (CASAP), Spain