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Advocating for evidence-informed decisions to make healthcare fit for each person
  1. Juan Victor Ariel Franco1,2,
  2. Kerry Dwan3,
  3. Luis Ignacio Garegnani4,
  4. Marleen Kunneman5,6,
  5. Eva Madrid7,
  6. Maria-Inti Metzendorf2,
  7. Nicolás Meza7,
  8. David Nunan8,
  9. Georgia C Richards8,9,
  10. Paula Riganti10,11,
  11. Areti Angeliki Veroniki12,13
  1. 1 BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine, London, UK
  2. 2 Institute of General Practice, Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine-Universitat Dusseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany
  3. 3 Methods Support Unit, Evidence, Production and Methods Directorate, Cochrane, London, UK
  4. 4 Research Department, Instituto Universitario del Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  5. 5 Medical Decision Making, Department of Biomedical Data Sciences, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands
  6. 6 Knowledge and Evaluation Research Unit, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  7. 7 Interdisciplinary Centre for Health Studies (CIESAL), Cochrane Chile Associate Centre, Universidad de Valparaiso, Viña del Mar, Chile
  8. 8 Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  9. 9 Global Centre on Healthcare and Urbanisation, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  10. 10 The University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  11. 11 Family and Community Medicine Division, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  12. 12 Knowledge Translation Program, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  13. 13 Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Juan Victor Ariel Franco, BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine, London WC1H 9JR, UK; juanfranco{at}bmj.com

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A year has passed since we have joined the new editorial team of BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM), a journal initially launched in 1995. Since then, great editors have maintained a platform for EBM enthusiasts and advocates. First commentaries and then EBM verdicts critically summarised the latest evidence with important implications for clinical practice. During the last 4 years, the journal incorporated original research and other articles that aimed to promote debate and analysis of the current controversies related to evidence.

For this new phase, we invited an international editorial team considering geographical, gender, ethnic, seniority and other forms of diversity. Most of our editors, including the Editor-in-Chief, are not native English-speakers. Considering the existing barriers and inequalities in publishing for authors, we advocate and engage in minimising conscious and unconscious biases, this being part of this larger endeavour towards justice, equality, diversity and inclusion by the BMJ.1

At the end of a very remarkable 2021, facing the beginning of 2022 puts several challenges at stake: redefining the scope of our journal, focusing on original research and evidence synthesis on what matters for healthcare and also the tools, methods and concepts that are basic and central to teaching and practising EBM. Learning how to practise and teach EBM is at the core of our activities, and we published a special issue on this topic.2 3 Additionally, we are producing a series on important methodological innovations, including recent advances in network meta-analysis and the importance of open science.4 Using the most effective and efficient methods, minimising bias and providing an appropriate interpretation of results allows us to have greater confidence in health research findings. We have also continued the publication of the Catalogue of Biases series.5 6

In 2021, we also participated in the World Evidence-Based Healthcare day. This campaign highlighted the importance of minimising misinformation, which was the topic of one of our most highly accessed articles on the highly controversial area of ivermectin for COVID-19.7 In the midst of this thick fog of information, where fake news and misleading evidence fuse with valuable and trustworthy findings, we plan to promote debate and critical thinking by publishing research addressing the infodemic phenomenon. The need to mitigate the impact of this growth of misinformation and reach a much wider audience requires a wide collaboration among stakeholders from different disciplines (healthcare, journalism, policymaking and so on). We have arranged to periodically communicate our content through social media, in which Twitter has been one of our platforms with the greatest growth. We also maintain the blog BMJ-EBM Spotlight as an additional resource for open dissemination of the work of our authors publishing with us.

We aimed to strengthen our focus on how EBM can contribute to care for each individual patient. We published the Making Care Fit Manifesto, which describes necessary conditions for patients and clinicians in working together when designing care plans that fit each person.8 We also invite authors to submit opinion papers or original research on the use of evidence during patient–clinician conversations and collaborations, patient involvement and shared decision making. In light of our journal’s intention to increase patient involvement, we also explicitly invite patients or informal caregiver authors to describe their personal experiences with care in our ‘Patient Voice’ section to provide learning for clinicians. We work closely with the authors to develop the papers and help prompt reflection while ensuring the message and personal language remain. This has already led to three Patient Voice papers over the last few months, and we encourage more submissions.9–11

We consider it crucial to create a good experience for our authors. Thus, we improved our editorial workflow and processes. Compared with the previous year, our average time to first decision was halved thanks to the speedy handling of our editors. The usage of our content increased 50%, with over 1.4 million downloads. Moreover, after being indexed in Web of Science for 2 years, we will receive our first Journal Impact Factor this year.

Finally, this year we moved publishing to online only. This change brings significant climate and environmental benefits, eliminating the substantial use of energy, water and chemicals that is involved in the complex production and distribution process of a print journal. We will also look forward to sharing more relevant content with our readership, including the conference abstracts from EBMLive in July 2022 and the Preventing Overdiagnosis Conference 2022. We are also liaising with scientific societies linked to EBM, drawing on new high-quality content. Stay tuned for more original evidence-based research, insights and opinions on what matters for people needing and using in healthcare.

Ethics statements

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Ethics approval

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References

Footnotes

  • Twitter @dwan_kerry, @MarleenKunneman, @mintimetz, @nicolasmezac, @dnunan79, @Richards_G_C, @paula_riganti, @AVeroniki

  • Contributors All authors wrote, revised and approved this manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.