Established as the "WHO Collaborating Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine”, the Department for Evidence-based Medicine and Evaluation prepares scientifically validated summaries of evidence in support of WHO guidelines to better global health care. Moreover, the WHO staff is trained as part of the collaboration.
Since 2017, Professor Gerald Gartlehner leads the Department as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine. The department dedicates its efforts to supporting the health care system with evidence-based facts. For the scientifically validated information derived from the reviews, which are without ties to the medical industry, is significantly incorporated into the guidelines. Subsequently, these guidelines serve as a basis for the WHO to make decisions on global health care.
One of the tasks of the Collaborating Center is to regularly prepare systematic reviews and rapid reviews, to translate English-language WHO guidelines, and to publish German-language summaries in the journal "Das Gesundheitswesen". In addition, regular web-based meetings are held with WHO staff to answer questions that arise during developing the guideline. Furthermore, the Department provides training on methodological competencies in guideline development for WHO staff.
"This cooperation with WHO brings great recognition to our work, both for me and for the department. I believe that particularly the pandemic has demonstrated how important robust facts are. On the basis of scientific findings, it is easier to make important decisions," says the head of the WHO Cooperation Center, Gerald Gartlehner.
Currently, the World Health Organization is working with some 800 of these centers located in more than 90 countries. Most of them are university institutions or research institutes that the WHO Directorate-General selects for cooperation.