Healthcare evidence brokering for Agenda 2063: the role of early career clinicians and biomedical students in patient involvement

2019-09-12 africa evidence week blog cameroon health informs learns
Healthcare evidence brokering for Agenda 2063: the role of early career clinicians and biomedical students in patient involvement

Optimal health is a major determinant of any sustainable development worldwide. Recognition of this factor is gradually attracting a compulsory investment to achieve Agenda 2063 aspiration of: A prosperous Africa, based on inclusive growth and sustainable development. However, in Cameroon like many other African countries, there is this “missing link” between the producers, consumers and potential consumers of quality health care knowledge - the evidence broker. 

What is evidence brokerage?  

“Knowledge brokering links researchers and decision makers together, facilitating their interaction so that they are able to better understand each other goal and professional culture, influence each other work, forge new partnerships and use research-based evidence” (Lomas, 2007). 

The call to reduce research waste is not new! It is in line with diverse efforts to cut down research waste and promote evidence-based health care practices that CamCoSO in collaboration with Research Organisation for Helath Education and Rehabilitation-Cameroon (ROHER-CAM) set out to pilot this initiative of the Healthcare Evidence Broker (HEB). We believe that using biomedical students and early career clinicians is strategic to significantly increase Patient Public Involvement (PPI) in research, minimize research waste and create a sustainable evidence culture in clinical practice in the near future.  

Our evidence brokering strategy 

We establish relationships with early career clinicians and biomedical students through trainings and mentorship on consumer involvement in the production and use of health care evidence. With close supervision from mentors (CamCoSO staff) mentees (early career clinicians and biomedical students) recruit and form a reference group of patients and carers whom they come across in the course of their work.  

This reference group serves as a reservoir from which consumer potential peer reviewers could be accessed; a source for public health research priority setting and an audience for the dissemination of verified information and knowledge- Evidence about health care such as Cochrane Plain Language Summaries, WHO guidelines for treatments and “Evidence Tori Dey” dramas, poems, songs and graphics. 

Facilitators of the evidence brokering initiative

The Existence of and free access to high quality health care evidence such as Cochrane reviews, JBI implementation projects and WHO guidelines facilitates access to health care evidence for early career clinicians and biomedical students.  Knowledge translation initiatives such as Plain Language Summaries of reviews caters for the evidence information needs of patients and consumers and has an effect of fueling their desire for quality health practice thereby facilitating evidence brokering. The unflinching high level of interest in best health care practice demonstrated by the early career clinicians and biomedical students provides that positive energy needed to fuel the ever increasingly demanding task of evidence-based practice. 

How strategic are early career clinicians and biomedical students in evidence brokering? 

  • Young and dynamic 

  • Knowledgeable in health care 

  • Passionate about health care 

  • Strong desire for career development 

  • Technology friendly 

  • Readily available