The VA Evidence-based Synthesis Program (ESP) was established to provide timely and accurate syntheses of targeted healthcare topics of particular importance to clinicians, managers and policymakers, as they work to improve the health and healthcare of Veterans. HSR&D provides funding for four ESP Centers and each Center has an active University affiliation. The Centers include: Durham, Minneapolis, Portland, and West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. The Center directors are national and international leaders in the field of evidence synthesis with close links to the AHRQ Evidence-based Practice Centers.
The ESP Centers generate evidence syntheses on important clinical practice topics, and these reports help:
The ESP disseminates these reports throughout VA and some evidence syntheses have informed the clinical guidelines of large professional organizations.
In 2009, an ESP Coordinating Center was created to expand the capacity of HSR&D Central Office and the four ESP sites by developing and maintaining program processes. In addition, the Center established a Steering Committee comprised of HSR&D field-based investigators, VA Patient Care Services, Office of Quality and Performance, and VISN Clinical Management Officers. The Steering Committee provides program oversight and guides strategic planning, coordinates dissemination activities, and develops collaborations with VA leadership to identify new ESP topics of importance to Veterans and the VA healthcare system.
The Coordinating Center is located in Portland, OR and is directed by Mark Helfand, MD.
ESP Governance Structure (236 KB, PDF)
Nominations will be accepted electronically using the online Topic Submission Form. Review topics selected by the Steering Committee will be assigned to an ESP Center to work with the nominator to refine the key questions and determine the scope and timeline of the desired product.
ESP reports are peer-reviewed by clinical and policy experts. If you're interested in serving as a peer reviewer for the program please contact Nicole Floyd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The ESP is currently soliciting suggestions for review topics from VHA leadership. For details go to the Topic Submission Form.
Using Comparative Effectiveness Review Findings in Practice: A new model
by Mark Helfand, MD, MPH, MS