New guideline network key for world-class health services

Goodman cres

Improving the health of Australians and New Zealanders is the driving force behind the creation of a new network to disseminate information and promote collaboration in guideline development. 

The Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) Guideline Network was initiated by Guideline International Network and is an inclusive and collaborative network of people with a common interest in improving health outcomes through the creation and implementation of evidence-based guidelines. 

The ANZ Guideline Network includes healthcare professionals, academics, policy makers, funders and other stakeholders with an interest in evidence synthesis, guideline development, knowledge translation, outcome evaluation and implementation science. 

The new network is supported by JBI, Cochrane, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, NHMRC, Stroke Foundation, Heart Foundation and UniSA.   

Sharon McGowan, Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer and chair of the National coronavirus Clinical Evidence Taskforce National Steering Committee, said development of independent, robust guidelines translating the latest research into best-practice treatment and care was essential to ensuring world-class health services for all patients. 

“Stroke Foundation has a long history of leading the way in guideline innovation. The organisation is currently piloting Australia’s first ‘living guidelines’ in partnership with Cochrane Australia and with funding support from the Australian Government Medical Research Future Fund,’’ Ms McGowan said. 

“The learnings in guidelines development over the past two years enabled the consortium to pivot in early 2020 to support Australia response to the COVID-19 pandemic by establishing the National COVID19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce to rapidly develop and deploy living guidelines for the clinical management of patients with COVID-19. 

“Stroke Foundation is proud to partner with likeminded groups in Australian and New Zealand Guideline Network, sharing learnings, experiences and processes benefiting clinicians, patients and the health system.” 

Ms McGowan said Stroke Foundation’s living guidelines was one of a number of key demonstration projects which is taking a “living evidence” approach to future clinical guideline development. The Australian Living Evidence Consortium is a collaboration of key organisations working in chronic disease that aims to improve Australia’s capacity to use evidence to drive high-value care and better health outcomes.  

Associate Professor Zachary Munn, Director of JBI Transfer Science at the University of Adelaide and Adelaide GRADE Centre, and vice-chair of Guidelines International Network (G-I-N), said the “network will bring guideline developers and users from across Australia and New Zealand together to further improve guideline development and implementation across the region”. 

“This will ensure evidence-based care is delivered across the population,’’ he said. 

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