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 11 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.

What's New

  • Journal Article

    Review of Fracture Prevention Medication for Older Adults

    Sep 22, 2014

    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.

  • Research Brief

    Child Vaccines Are Extremely Safe and Serious Side Effects Rare

    Aug 8, 2014

    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.

  • Journal Article

    Evaluation of Health Information Technology (IT) Implementation and Functionality

    Jan 1, 2014

    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.

  • Journal Article

    Jury Is Still Out on Bariatric Surgery for Patients with Moderate Obesity and Diabetes

    Jun 4, 2013

    Bariatric surgery for diabetic people who are not severely obese has shown promising results in controlling glucose, but more information is needed about the long-term benefits and risks before recommending bariatric surgery over non-surgical weight-loss treatment for these individuals.