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Table 1 Examples of desirable characteristics of evidence products and services

From: Sustainability in Health care by Allocating Resources Effectively (SHARE) 8: developing, implementing and evaluating an evidence dissemination service in a local healthcare setting

Characteristics 1* 2
PRODUCT Source   
▪ Identify ‘credible’ sources to avoid the target audience spending time appraising methodological quality and merit
▪ Identify sources that the target audience consider trustworthy
Level of evidence   
▪ Transfer evidence from a ‘body of knowledge’ such as systematic reviews, health technology assessments and evidence-based guidelines so the reader has all the available evidence on the topic
Quality and currency   
▪ Ensure information is current and provide a publication date
▪ Ensure information is well written, concise, easily understood, well organised, convenient to access, clinically applicable and relevant, and linked to other relevant high-quality documents  
▪ Word the title to engage the target audience (eg as a question, with a solution-orientation)   
▪ Present findings using an ‘inverted pyramid’ (eg bulleted key messages, executive summary, full report)  
▪ Highlight ‘take-home’ messages from the review, particularly decision-relevant information (eg benefits, harms)  
▪ Present ‘ideas’ rather than ‘data’  
▪ List actionable recommendations in order of effectiveness and link to supporting evidence  
▪ Articulate the implications of the findings to policy and practice, and potential outcomes of implementation  
▪ Frame the findings and implications within the local, state/provincial, or national context  
▪ Highlight the characteristics of the participants in the included studies and the contexts in which the studies were conducted that might influence local applicability and/or raise equity considerations  
▪ Limit discussion of methods, if required report in an appendix  
▪ Deliver a product/service that looks familiar and works in a consistent manner each time
▪ Use a format that is visually interesting and presented attractively
▪ Use a format that is easy to scan quickly
▪ Link summaries to full text
▪ Use language appropriate to the target audience, jargon-free, with technical language restricted to an appendix  
▪ Ensure electronic sources run smoothly and links work as expected
▪ Customise the information to meet the needs of the target audience
▪ Provide the target audience with choice and control over − topic selection (eg their areas of interest, specialty, profession domain or clinical setting)  
− amount of detail (eg abstract, summary, full text)  
− method (eg electronic, hard copy, Internet)  
− frequency of delivery (eg at time of publication, daily, weekly, monthly)  
▪ Provide a searchable database or registry  
▪ Use interactive methods
▪ Engage the target audience in providing online commentaries about specific reviews or review-derived products   
▪ Provide online briefings (eg webinars) about specific reviews or review-derived products   
▪ Provide face-to-face briefings about specific reviews or review-derived products   
▪ Give presentations about specific reviews or review-derived products coupled with stakeholder commentaries   
▪ Ensure those who transfer information are seen as credible and trustworthy by the target audience
▪ Engage someone with appropriate skills, preferably from within the practice setting, to repackage information, write summaries, etc  
  1. *1 = Model 1, 2 = Model 2