Evidence on mechanisms and tools for use of health information for decision-making
The World Health Assembly in 2005 urged Member States to establish or strengthen knowledge transfer mechanisms to support evidence-informed health policies and health care delivery. The European Health Information Initiative was set up to strengthen the use of evidence, information and research for policy-making in the WHO European Region. While good-quality health information is a key component for decision-making, it needs to be packaged and communicated in an effective way to policy-makers, the end-users. This report describes tools and mechanisms that can help to increase the use of health information in policy development. Packaging tools include synthesis methods, such as policy briefs, and visualization methods. Application tools include surveillance data and modelling/simulation to explore the behavior and performance of processes and interventions. Dissemination and communication tools include health information-sharing platforms, newsletters and person-to-person communications. Finally, linkage and exchange tools such as knowledge networks facilitate the dissemination and refining of health information, thus increasing the chance of its translation into policy.