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Best evidence
supporting best care

As clinicians work to provide the best possible care for Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re working to keep them up-to-date with the latest evidence

Slide 1
How we develop
Living Recommendations
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COVID-19 Pandemic:
Questions need answers
In the course of separating fact from
fiction, at no time in recent history
has the need to explore the effects
of interventions on a new disease
like COVID-19 been more critical.
To develop clear recommendations
about what we know and what we
don’t know, we have established a
multi-disciplinary collaboration
between researchers and clinicians
to provide evidence-based,
trustworthy guidance for the
treatment of people with COVID-19.
Join the dots as we step
through the process
Blue signifies the work of the
Taskforce Evidence Team
Pink signifies the
contributions
of the Taskforce Expert
Panels and Groups
Slide 2
The process is simple:
We start with a question
This can be broad or specific. It can be
proposed by clinicians, members of the
public and/or government agencies.
Example questions:
Clinicians
Consumers & carers
Policy makers
Question prioritisation
Guidelines
Leadership Group
Firstly, the question posed
is assessed by the
Guidelines Leadership
Group to make sure that it
is in scope.
Slide 3
The Taskforce gets busy:
Finding evidence
Patient or population:
What are the important characteristics?
Intervention:
What treatment is being considered?
Comparison:
What is it being compared to?
Outcome:
What benefits or harms does it cause?
PICO
The acronym used to
help formulate a well-defined
searchable question
Searching
Globally, around 1000 studies are published
every week that explore treatments for
COVID-19. The role of the Evidence Team is to
sift through these publications to identify the
most reliable studies that will guide treatment
recommendations.
Global COVID-19 Literature
Relevant high quality research
Relevant low quality research
Irrelevant research literature
The Evidence Team
The engine room of the Taskforce.
The team of methodologists and evidence
officers works with the panels to define questions
for systematic review, undertake literature
searches and use GRADE methods to critically
appraise and present relevant findings.
Slide 4
Panels dive in to the
Assess the evidence
Conflicts of Interest Committee
An international and independent
committee responsible for assessing the
Declarations of Conflicts of Interest
completed by Taskforce contributors.
Expert Advisory Group
Comprised of professionals with specific expertise
that can be called upon as required by the Evidence
Team and panels to help guide recommendations.
Expert Clinical Panels
Senior healthcare professionals with relevant
clinical expertise and an understanding of the
principles of evidence-based practice.
Consumer Panel
Co-convened with the Consumers Health Forum of Australia, this
panel provides consumer advice to the guideline development
program, contributing ideas for clinical questions to be addressed,
views on high priority topics, and feedback on the implications
of individual recommendations to patients, consumers, or carers.
GRADE Assessment
Bias
Consistency
Precision
Applicability
Slide 6
Expert panels develop:
Proposed recommendation
Corticosteroids for adults:
Use dexamethasone 6 mg daily intraveneously or orally for up to 10 days (or acceptable alternative regimen) in adults with COVID-19 who are receiving oxygen (including mechanically ventilated patients).
The Evidence Team prepare a summary of the evidence to accompany the recommendation.
Decision time:
Recommended approval
If the GLG requires changes, the draft recommendation goes back to the relelvant Guidelines panel for further development.
Guidelines Leadership Group
Provides clinical governance to the Taskforce and comprises the chairs from each of the Expert Clinical Panels, consumer representatives, and a senior clinical representative nominated by each of the Taskforce member organisations. The GLG is responsible for reviewing all new or updated recommendations drafted by the Panels before they are submitted to the Steering Committee for final approval.
Slide 7
With 100% consensus we deliver a
Published recommendation
Jurisdictional Liaison Group
Includes representatives from Federal and State health
departments and other government agencies as appro-
priate. Primarily a communication channel to ensure
mutual awareness of evidence surveillance and pub-
lished clinical guidance, with the key role of ensuring
early identification of implementation issues associat-
ed with specific recommendations and to help guide
priority questions.
National Steering Committee
Governed by a 100% consensus-based
decision-making process and comprising a
representative from each of the member
organisations. Approval is considered to be a formal
endorsement of the guidelines by all members.
Published recommendation
Once the Steering Committee has
approved the recommendations,
the Guidelines are published and
dissemination begins.
Slide 8
Guidelines dissemination
Once approved, the latest Guidelines are
published to the online platform MAGICapp and
the Taskforce website is updated. A summary
Communique is sent to subscribers, media and
the 32 member organisations for distribution
through their channels. Twitter and LinkedIn are
also used to promote publication and receive
feedback on the guidelines.
Slide 9
Updating and maintenance
Living recommendations are published and
updated as relevant evidence emerges. This means
our 145+ published recommendations are rapidly
reviewed as new results are identified and then
incorporated into the recommendation’s body of
evidence to determine whether an update is
required. It’s a constant cycle of identify, review,
develop, approve, publish, disseminate.
Slide 10
250+
volunteer clinical experts
21,000+
volunteer hours
20+
Taskforce Project Team
200
countries
18,000+
studies
screened
210,000+
guideline
users
60+
weekly
updates
145+
living
recommendations
11
clinical
flowcharts
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