The 2013 EBHC International Joint Conference was held on October 30-November 2 in Taormina, Sicily, and was a great success. For its second annual conference, ISEHC teamed up with EBHC Teachers and Developers, who have held conferences in Taormina since 2001. With the aim of promoting an evidence-based approach to health care, education and research, this turned out to be a perfect match. The commonality between the two societies is, of course, the basic principle that evidence should inform all healthcare decisions at all levels: patients, healthcare professionals, healthcare educators, and policy makers.
The Taormina conference attracted 159 participants from 30 countries, from Australia to Uruguay. The conference had an extensive scientific programme including keynote addresses from Gordon Guyatt, Paul Glasziou, Brian Haynes, Victor Montori, Amanda Burls, and Nino Cartabellotta. There were pre-conference workshops on GRADE and statistics, five plenary sessions, four parallel scientific sessions, four workshops and five theme groups. The 6 keynote lectures, 36 oral presentations and more than 50 posters contributed to highlighting the key role of Evidence-based Health Care in addressing the global challenge of the sustainability of health services.
Some key take home messages from the conference were Gordon Guyatt’s new First principle of EBM: Systematic summaries of the best available evidence should guide patient management decisions, Brian Haynes’ presentation and emphasis of the value of pre-appraised evidence to facilitate clinical decision making, and Paul Glasziou’s presentation, via link from Australia, on digestion of evidence and the use of YouTube in medicine. Other interesting highlights and outcomes of the conference were the initiation of an EBHC MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), a funding appeal/proposal for the implementation of EBP in developing countries, and a proposal on how to integrate shared decision making in EBP education. Views of the future were shared and included the move to increasingly high-tech solutions for EBHC such as smart phones, integrated EMR’s, and push services.
The Sicilian setting with sun, sea and exquisite cuisine were, of course, no small parts in the success of the conference. The ISEHC Board sincerely thanks Nino Cartabellotta and his team at the GIMBE Foundation for a great arrangement and for the opportunity to meet old and new friends!