Participation in EBP Network

The KCE was entrusted with the coordination of the prioritisation committee of the Belgian Evidence Based Practice network. The role of this committee is to organise and to accompany the selection of subjects for the activities to be rolled out by the network as a matter of priority. Several types of projects are possible: the development of new guidelines (either by adapting high-quality guidelines adopted in other countries as a basis, or by conducting a review of the literature anew), the updating of existing guidelines, and the implementation of clinical recommendations. In 2020 the call for subjects for the 2021 programme led to the receipt of 26 proposals, five of which were accepted at the end of a scientific evaluation followed by a consensus procedure, and taking into account the available budget: (1) a guideline for the follow-up and revalidation of COVID-19 patients in primary care after hospital discharge, (2) a guideline for the organisation of tele-logopedics, (3) a guideline and implementation plan for low-risk childbirth, (4) a guideline for oncological monitoring at home, and (5) the creation of a list of evidence-based ‘red flags’ (diagnostic and therapeutic attention points) for podologists.

In addition to these there are also two subjects in reserve which will depend on the budget available: (1) a multidisciplinary guideline for the organisation of tele-consultation and (2) a guideline on the treatment of asthma. Furthermore, some of the projects from 2020 were postponed: the implementation project of a guideline on rehabilitation after a stroke (to 2021) and interventions aiming at the optimization of the prescription of antibiotics in ambulatory care (to 2022).

It also falls to the prioritisation committee to help support previously selected projects. This is the case, for example, with the implementation of the guideline on lumbago and radicular pains (KCE report 287), a project selected in 2018, which comprises three sections: multidisciplinary training of general practitioners, physiotherapists and psychologists, the drawing up of an information tool for patients and the development of indicators to evaluate the impact of the guideline’s implementation. The start-up of another 2019 project, i.e. implementation of the guideline on chronic pain, had to be put off until January 2021 due to work overload of the contracting parties linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. As regards projects in the 2020 programme (implementation of guidelines relating to chronic kidney failure and the multidisciplinary handling of stroke), the committee helped provide the candidate contracting parties with information and took part in the setting up of the selection panels.

Lastly, throughout 2020 the prioritisation committee helped in the development of and support to networking of the Belgian EBP network and to the drawing of its strategic plan. In the context of the optimization of the existing prioritisation procedures, it also developed a form that should enable the network’s partners to evaluate the prioritisation process.