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Policy Brief & Stakeholder Dialogues

Evidence Synthesis

Each partner institution of the Swiss Learning Health System (SLHS) is working on a specific topic that will lead to Policy Briefs and Stakeholder Dialogues. The listed topics have been selected by means of a prioritization process taking into account their scientific and policy relevance. The topics underline the interdisciplinarity of health sciences and health systems research by including disciplines such as medical science, economics, communication, law, public health and theology.

A prerequisite for issue deliberation and learning cycles in the health system is the review of evidence that describes possible options to target the problems initially identified. The Swiss Learning Health System (SLHS) delivers two such evidence synthesis tools, Policy Briefs, which serve as a basis for Stakeholder Dialogues, and Rapid Response Synthesis.

Policy Brief

A Policy Brief is an essential document that describes the problem at stake by explaining the relevant contextual factors. It presents a number of evidence-informed solutions to the problem, and for each possible solution it explains relevant aspects, including expected benefits and costs, and potential barriers and facilitators to implementation. The Policy Brief is distributed to the participants of the dialogue prior to the deliberation and it is published afterwards on the SLHS website.

Stakeholder Dialogues

Stakeholder Dialogues are promising mechanisms to successfully inform policy-makers about evidence-informed actions to identified problems on any levels of health, including policy, service delivery or financing and health information collection. As mechanisms that support the identification of research topics, Stakeholder Dialogues match the current needs of the health system and thus create a culture of shared responsibility. Based on a Policy Brief, a group of 4-20 stakeholders work collaboratively toward a common understanding of the problem and the best course of action. 

Dialogues are guided by a moderator, who oversees the deliberation, stimulates participants to confront their views and facilitates confrontation over differences of opinion.

Dialogues in general close by deciding first whether there is agreement over a course of action, or not. Second, if there is no agreement, whether i) there is need to reconvene for a second dialogue to foster agreement, or ii) more research is needed given a possible lack of evidence to agree on the best solution.

If there is a need to reconvene for a second dialogue (as mentioned above in i), the SLHS engages stakeholders in a structured negotiation to solve the differences of opinion. In case more research is needed (as mentioned above in ii) the SLHS informs the research agenda of the academic partners to address the open issues.

Rapid Response Synthesis

Rapid response syntheses are means to respond meaningfully and quickly to current issues in the health system. They identify and synthesize the best course of action by examining current evidence and possible solutions. The rapid response synthesis also includes an implementation guide with issue specific implementation considerations, monitoring and evaluation guidance.


Our topics

Each partner institution of the SLHS is working on one or more specific topic(s) that will lead to Policy Briefs and Stakeholder Dialogues.

Finding Evidence

Good starting points to look for relevant evidence are filtered resources that summarize and appraise evidence from different studies; these can include systematic reviews, evidence-informed guidelines or critical appraised topics.

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