Evidence synthesis for COVID-19 interventions: update reports from Argentina's National Commission for Health Technology Assessment

Tortosa et al.

This report presents the work done on the design, publication, and impact of updates on evidence-based COVID-19 interventions, in order to support decision-making with updated evidence syntheses based on living systematic reviews of therapeutic interventions. To this end, a specific working group was created within the National Commission for Health Technology Assessment (CONETEC) of the Ministry of Health of Argentina, in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). A methodology was designed to develop and publish assessment documents aimed at supporting decision-making. These update reports were based on the exploration of three areas: health effects, feasibility of implementation, and evidence-based recommendations. A color-coded system was used to present the conclusions according to the balance between their positive and negative effects in different clinical scenarios, in order to improve their interpretation and implementation. In 2021, 16 evidence synthesis reports were published (13 original reports and three full updates). These were downloaded many times from the CONETEC website and the Regional Database of Health Technology Assessment Reports of the Americas (BRISA), highlighting the need for robust, up-to-date, reliable evidence summaries adapted for implementation in the country's health system. Other challenges include constant updating of information, appropriate dissemination, and sustained rigorous preparation of the reports.

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Special report