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A Framework for Evidence Synthesis Programs to Respond to a Pandemic

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Betacoronavirus, COVID-19, Coronavirus Infections, Evidence-Based Medicine, Humans, Pandemics, Pneumonia, Viral, Public Health, SARS-CoV-2



The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic requires making rapid decisions based on sparse and rapidly changing evidence. Evidence synthesis programs conduct systematic reviews for guideline developers, health systems clinicians, and decision-makers that usually take an average 6 to 8 months to complete. We present a framework for evidence synthesis programs to respond to pandemics that has proven feasible and practical during the COVID-19 response in a large multistate health system employing more than 78,000 people. The framework includes four components: an approach for conducting rapid reviews, a repository of rapid reviews, a registry for all original studies about COVID-19, and twice-weekly prioritized update of new evidence sent to key stakeholders. As COVID-19 will not be our last pandemic, we share the details of this framework to allow replication in other institutions and re-implementation in future pandemics.


Article available for free at PubMed Central:

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Mayo Clinic Proceedings, v. 95, issue 7, p. 1426-1429