As of June 2017, the Department for Evidence-Based Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology at the Faculty of Health and Medicine is a “Collaborating Centre for Evidence-based Medicine” with the World Health Organization (WHO). As a result, Danube University Krems will be more intensively involved in authoring scientifically proven WHO guidelines for the future provision of global health care.
The Department for evidence-Based Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology has already made a global name for itself with Cochrane Austria. Through its work promoting evidence-based decisions in the health system, the Cochrane Austria team at Danube University Krems has been supporting the World Health Organization for years. The scientifically proven, sponsor-independent information from the Cochrane reviews has been incorporated to a large extent into the guidelines the WHO provides to facilitate decision-making in global health care provision.
The department, headed by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Gerald Gartlehner, has now been rewarded for its engagement by becoming an official “Collaborating Centre for evidence-based Medicine.” The World Health Organization is currently collaborating with approx. 700 such centers in over 80 countries. These are university or research institutions chosen as collaboration partners by the WHO’s General Directorate; applying for this function is not possible.
Recognition and Mandate
“We regard this appointment by the WHO as both recognition and mandate,” says Gerald Gartlehner. The scope of the mandate has already become apparent: as one of the first activities in the framework of the new collaboration, Gartlehner and his team will soon hold a workshop at WHO in Geneva on evaluating the quality of scientific evidence in guidelines.
The World Health Organization was founded in 1948 with the aim to achieve the highest possible health standards for all people in the world. Since then 194 countries, including Austria, have become WHO members. Today, the organization is a leader in global health issues such as drafting evidence-based guidelines.