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For about 20 years, the Network for Evidence-based Medicine pursues the goal of a „conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients, groups of patients and populations“.

We are delighted that the annual conference of the Network will take place for the first time in Switzerland. From February 13 to 15, 2020 we will address the question „How do we get the evidence we need?“ under the main theme „Useful patient-relevant research“ at the University Hospital Basel.

We focus a lot on how we implement evidence in care, how we summarize and assess it, or how we can use it, for example, for guidelines, health information or reimbursement decisions. But we focus far too little on how we get the evidence we need. There are hundreds of thousands of clinical trials – and yet questions from patients, physicians, caregivers, and other users of evidence are very often not answered – because patient-relevant useful research is lacking.

What can we do to build a research landscape that creates such evidence? How do we ask the right questions and set the right priorities? And what can research funding agencies, legislators, insurers or HTA agencies in particular do?

One often proposed key element of patient-relevant research is the involvement of patients in the planning and conduct of studies. But that is easier said than done – how do we do it concretely? What can clinical researchers learn from other areas, such as clinical guidelines or health information?

Clinical studies need suitable structures – but it is not always clear which are particularly helpful in research practice and which are missing. Where inhibits bureaucracy innovation and knowledge growth? We need well-trained young researchers, but how and where do we teach and learn to do clinical research so that it benefits patients?

It is often claimed that clinical trials are particularly expensive and need a lot of resources – but is that really true and does it have to be that way? What makes studies expensive and how can costs be saved? What offer innovative study designs and new technologies, for example routinely collected data or digital patient-reported outcomes?
And if there is useful evidence, how do we get access to the results and data?

In Basel, we want to exchange views and insights and specifically focus on practical experience and solutions. We want to learn from each other, across countries and research settings, and emphasize the international context.

We hope to get some answers to these questions in various lectures, symposia and workshops and we welcome numerous contributions in English and German.

Of course, as every year, the congress also offers a forum for discussing EbM topics that are not directly related to the main conference theme. In numerous training workshops and special events, we would like to discuss the methods of EbM and specifically involve newcomers.
We look forward to welcoming you in Basel!

PD Dr. med. Lars G. Hemkens
University of Basel,
Conference Chair

Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Andreas Sönnichsen
Medical University Vienna,
Chair EbM network