The Southern California Evidence-based Practice Center
The Southern California Evidence-based Practice Center is part of the Evidence-based Practice Program sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) since 1997.
One of 13 such Centers nationwide, the Center:
- reviews all relevant scientific literature on a wide spectrum of clinical and health services topics to produce various types of evidence reports. These reports may be used for informing and developing coverage decisions, quality measures, educational materials and tools, clinical practice guidelines, and research agendas;
- conducts research on methodology of evidence synthesis;
- provides technical assistance to professional organizations, employers, providers, policymakers, etc., to facilitate translation of the reports into quality improvement tools, evidence-based curricula, and reimbursement policies; and
- updates prior evidence reports.
The Center combines the talents of RAND and its four California health care institutions:
- University of California, Los Angeles
- University of California, San Francisco
- Stanford University
- University of Southern California
In addition, through the VA HSR&D Center of Innovation and the VA Evidence-Synthesis Program (ESP) we collaborate with the Greater Los Angeles Veteran Affairs Healthcare System.
The Center is also affiliated with five health services research training programs, and the Guidelines International Network.
RAND researchers developed and tested the QI Minimum Quality Criteria Set (QI-MQCS), a ready-to-use, valid and reliable tool for critical appraisal of quality improvement intervention publications.
Serious, preventable surgical events, termed "never events," continue to occur despite considerable patient safety efforts. Wrong-site surgery and retained surgical items occur at the rate of 1 in 100,000 procedures, and analysis of the causes of these events indicates a need for improved communication.
Osteoporosis is a major contributor to the propensity to fracture among older adults, and various pharmaceuticals are available to help prevent fractures. Researchers reviewed FDA-approved medications for at-risk older adults and found strong evidence supporting several medications for preventing fractures, but comparative effectiveness remains unclear, as does how long to treat and what the appropriate role is for monitoring bone density while on treatment.
A systematic review revealed that vaccines administered to U.S. children are very safe, and side effects are extremely rare. The small risk of side effects must be weighed against the great protective benefits these vaccines provide.
RAND Researchers from the Southern California Evidence-Based Practice Center are part of a team of experts consulting on a series of videos about autism spectrum disorders being produced by the University of Southern California's School of Cinema. The videos and related website, Interacting with Autism, are designed to help autistic individuals, their families, health care providers, and educators make informed choices in recommending and pursuing the most effective approaches for specific individuals diagnosed with autism. Mark Harris, the executive producer of the series, is a three-time Oscar winner for best documentary.
Incentives offered by the U.S. government have spurred marked increases in use of health information technology (IT). Evaluation of implementation and functionality revealed strong evidence for health IT use in certain areas, and difficulty determining why some implementations are successful but others are not.