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an Economist Intelligence Unit business healthcare

Bazian evidence scans™

The Bazian Evidence Scan™ is for identifying and prioritising the questions you want answered and for scoping up what it might take to answer them. As a commissioner, it’s common to hit upon a problematic topic area – say percutaneous heart valves, or water fluoridation, or smoking cessation. But it’s difficult to know in advance what exactly to commission evidence about within that topic. Is it about the ideal age cut-off for the valves? The evidence for effects of fluoride on fracture rates? Specific behavioural change techniques for smoking cessation?

Bazian Evidence Scans are a critical first step in helping you understand what’s out there and what is likely to matter, and what’s worth putting time and effort into researching further to help with your commissioning decision. Excuse our flight of fancy, but it’s a bit like prospecting: before people go to the expense of drilling in a particular spot for natural resources, they ensure they have prospected the landscape first, to find out where the seams are likely to lie. Our Evidence Scans map out the landscape for your topic – to identify which areas are of greatest concern and where the evidence lies (and where it is scant or absent), helping you to see whether and where to dig deeper with a health technology assessment or evidence review.

Evidence scans therefore provide a rapid collation of high quality empirical research about a topic. Although all of the evidence is sourced and compiled systematically, Evidence scans are not systematic reviews. They do not seek to summarise theoretical literature or to explore in any depth the concepts covered by the scan or those arising from it.

The evidence scan process includes a systematic search across a range of databases on the topic of interest, using both text keywords and indexing terms. According to need, this systematic search of published literature can be supplemented by:

  • searches of the grey literature,
  • by citation searching,
  • related article searching, and/or
  • by the hand-searching of reference lists and key journals.

Sifting of the research results is done against pre-agreed inclusion criteria and evidence is extracted using a structured template. Finally, again according to the need of the client, the results are grouped around key themes and a narrative summary of trends and relative weight of evidence is provided.