The Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) conducts systematic reviews of health care topics for federal and state agencies, professional associations, and foundations. These reviews report the evidence from clinical research studies and the quality of that evidence for use by clinicians, employers, policymakers, researchers, and others in making decisions about the provision of health care services and health research. The reports may be used by public-and private-sector organizations to assist in improving the quality of health care, informing the development of clinical practice guidelines, and informing reimbursement and coverage policies. The Pacific Northwest EPC also participates in research on systematic review methods.
The EPC at Oregon Health & Science University was founded in 1997 under the directorship of Mark Helfand, MD, MPH, with funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Now under the leadership of Roger Chou, MD, the Pacific Northwest EPC is a collaboration of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon, the University of Washington CHASE Alliance in Seattle, and Spectrum Research, Inc. in Tacoma, Washington. The EPC has received funding from AHRQ, the Drug Effectiveness Review Program, the National Institutes of Health, the American Pain Society, and other associations and foundations. The EPC at OHSU was previously known as the Oregon EPC.
EPC investigators come from a wide variety of disciplines within the partner institutions. Investigators with the Evidence-based Practice Center have a particular interest in diagnostic technology assessment, prevention effectiveness, evidence-based informatics, research in managed care, and critical appraisal of cost-effectiveness analysis and decision analysis. In the past faculty affiliated with the Center have investigated areas such as hepatitis C, pressure ulcers, acute head injury, pain management, drug effectiveness, thyroid function tests, cancer screening, diagnostic use of upper GI endoscopy, asthma diagnosis and management, telemedicine, menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, vaginal birth after cesarean section, and statewide trauma systems.