An internist and pediatrician, Stephanie Chang has directed the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Evidence-based Practice Centre (EPC) Program since 2010. The AHRQ EPC Program is committed to supporting evidence-based practice and guideline development through the conduct of systematic reviews. Conducted by an independent group of unbiased researchers, EPC systematic reviews serve as a resource for guideline development.
AHRQ has a vested interest in the translation and implementation of research findings into practice. Guideline organisations play a key role in setting standards for clinical practice. Stephanie is committed to ensuring that AHRQ EPC systematic reviews are conducted in partnership with guideline groups. She has engaged various groups, including the GRADE working group to develop and promote rigorous methods for evidence-based guideline development. She has supported initiatives to help improve coordination, collaboration, and consistency of methods across different systematic review organisations.
Stephanie Chang received her Bachelors and Medical degree from the University of Michigan and completed her Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency training at the University of Minnesota before completing a Masters of Public Health and a General Internal Medicine research fellowship at Johns Hopkins University.
Vision Statement for G-I-N 2014-2017
Guidelines shape the practice of medicine. The potential power of evidence-based guidelines to improve clinical care around the world is tremendous. In the face of limited resources, we must support one another to promote the best care for patients. GIN plays a key role in promoting evidence-based guidelines by: building a community committed to evidence-based guidelines, improving coordination and reduce redundancies, and strengthening relationships between systematic review groups and guideline groups.
Community means more than having a common characteristic or interest. In a true community, there is a shared vision and each person recognises how their individual efforts contribute to the shared vision. GIN has a wealth of resources within its membership. To promote active contribution and sharing amongst members so that the whole is more than the sum of its parts, leadership can encourage and provide opportunities to share and trust and work with one another. Building a community of guideline developers committed to improving clinical care through the development of evidence-based guidelines can truly achieve great things.
As the methodological standards for guideline development has evolved, we must now learn how to improve the efficiency of this increasingly resource-intensive process. One approach is to focus on better coordination amongst guideline groups to avoid redundancies and other duplication of efforts. Other approaches may be to encourage the development of tools or new processes to increase efficiency of the guideline process.
Given that the systematic review of the literature is a large cost of developing an evidence-based guideline, strengthening the relationships between systematic review groups and guideline groups may be another way to increase efficiencies. John Eisenberg, in 20021, envisioned a world where we would “Globalise the evidence, [but] localise the decision”. I believe GIN can play a key role in moving us forward to a community of guideline developers and systematic reviewers, committed to improving patient care by development of rigorous, evidence-based guidelines.