Background: the urgency and short time frames involved in decision making are often barriers to the use of evidence. Therefore, the Evidence Center (NEv) of the Department of Science and Technology, within the Secretariat of Science, Technology and Strategic Inputs in the Brazilian Ministry of Health has elaborated a portfolio of products composed of different types of evidence-based responses. The service is available to the whole Ministry and the response time depends upon the complexity of the product.
Objectives: to describe the portfolio of evidence-based products designed to aid the decision-making process within the Brazilian Ministry of Health.
Methods: the team performed a literature search for papers about rapid reviews, responses and services to look for possible rapid response products. The team used the Rapid Response Service of the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies to guide the elaboration of the portfolio. The team made adaptations to the work process so that it would be possible to launch the portfolio and maintain it alongside our other demands. The team also elaborated a product request form as well as an evaluation form.
Results: the team has disseminated the portfolio within the department and the reception has been positive. The NEv team has been working towards raising awareness of the relevance of employing scientific evidence to identify research gaps, prioritize themes for research and use validated methodologies. The portfolio currently has seven products: reference inventory, abstract summary, rapid review, rapid review for policy, mini-HTA (Health Technology Assessment), policy brief for health and policy dialogue/synthesis report. NEv also funds studies that are more complex, such as systematic reviews, economic evaluations and budget impact analysis. After delivering the product, we request its evaluation with regard to whether it is useful for decision making, improves the understanding of evidence-based health care and whether the results can be made public, amongst other questions.
Conclusions: the portfolio aims at providing evidence-based synthesis, considering the context, to support decision making. After implementing the service, we expect to be able to assess its usefulness and, if need be, ways to improve the service.
Patient or healthcare consumer involvement: if the area that requested the product finds it important to make the results public, then it is publicized. However, if the theme is sensitive and it is not in the best interest of the Ministry to publicize the results, the products remain within the institution.