Using Evidence in Public Health Decisions: Why it Matters
Four public health personalities make the case
In this video, four Canadian experts explain why evidence-informed decision making is essential for public health. David Mowat, Carol Timmings, Gaynor Watson-Creed and Jocelyne Sauvé talk candidly about the impact that using evidence has had on their practices.
Using evidence to inform public health decisions can benefit the individuals, organizations and communities:
•In a climate of tightening budgets, Dr Watson-Creed notes, it is especially “important for us to be sure that the interventions that we are creating are going to work.”
•Jocelyne Sauvé adds that, “Without looking at [the research], we could implement interventions that would show little or no effectiveness.”
•Decisions informed by evidence result in better health outcomes for individuals and communities. Dr. Mowat says that, by making “better use of the science that is already there,” public health professionals can “find the most effective ways of preventing… unnecessary illness and mortality.”
Dr. Watson-Creed also warns that, organizations that make decisions without evidence are “at risk of wasting resources, with solutions [they] think might work but that [they] don’t actually have the evidence to know … are going to work.”
Ultimately, the video’s message is that evidence-informed practice is an achievable goal for any organization. “You’re not doing it alone,” says Carol Timmings. “You are able to optimize and capitalize on assets that others are offering you in knowledge and expertise.” Find out more about the resources available to help you implement evidence into your public health decisions on the NCCMT website.
The National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (NCCMT) is one of six National Collaborating Centres for Public Health in the country with a collective mandate to strengthen public health in Canada. Visit the NCCMT website (www.nccmt.ca) or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Production of this video is made possible by financial contribution by the Public Health Agency of Canada. The views expressed here to not necessarily reflect the views of the Public Health Agency of Canada.