Improving access to evidence

NICE Evidence Services are a suite of services available through the NICE website that provide internet access to high quality authoritative evidence and best practice information. The services cover health, social care and public health evidence. NICE Evidence Services are for everyone working in health and social care that make decisions about treatments, interventions or the use of resources. NICE Evidence Services aim to help professionals make better and quicker evidence-based decisions.

NICE Evidence Services consist of:

  • Evidence Search which provides free open access to a unique index of selected and authoritative evidence-based information.
  • Journals and databases including Healthcare Database Advanced Search (HDAS), which is aimed at the expert user and provides access to an extensive set of journals and bibliographic databases. These are procured by NICE and funded by Health Education England.
  • Clinical Knowledge Summaries (CKS) which provide primary care practitioners with access to evidence-based guidance on over 330 of the most commonly occurring conditions presenting in primary care.
  • British National Formulary (BNF) microsite which provides open access to BNF and BNFC content across the UK.
  • Bulletins, alerts and evidence awareness service which helps busy professionals keep up to date with important new evidence.

Improved Evidence Search service

In February 2015, we re-launched an improved Evidence Search service. The drive behind the change was to focus on the core purpose to present relevant, high quality search returns quickly and clearly.

We also felt it was important that we take on board users’ feedback in developing the new service. Our research shows a significant number of users access Evidence Search via a tablet or mobile so the new Evidence Search has been redesigned to work equally well on desktops, tablets and mobiles. Content resizes and reshapes to fit the device used and it functions on a wide range of browsers.

The new Evidence Search also has:

  • mobile accessible filters
  • quicker download speed, especially when using mobile devices
  • closer links to key NICE guidance – relevant NICE topics and NICE pathways are displayed in a right hand panel
  • quick right hand links to our most popular sources such as Clinical Knowledge Summaries (CKS), the BNF and BNFC
  • clearer search filters on the left hand side of the page

This year we also made improvements to CKS, a service that provides the best evidence along with clear, practical knowledge to help primary care practitioners put UK guideline recommendations into practice. These included the development of educational tools in the form of Powerpoint slides that provide brief snapshots of CKS topics.

Over the year, eight new CKS topics, based on published NICE clinical guidelines and other established guidance were added to the collection. Sixty five topics were also updated.

The bulletins, alerts and evidence awareness service helps busy health and social care professionals keep up-to-date with important new evidence. The monthly Eyes on Evidence and Public Health Awareness bulletins and the daily and weekly medicines awareness service continued to provide regular updates and expert commentaries on emerging new evidence to all our registered users.

There were 20 Evidence Updates published between April 2014 and March 2015 covering a range of clinical and public health topics. Of these, 9 Evidence Updates identified new evidence that could have a potential impact on guidance.

UK PharmaScan

An additional service provided by NICE Evidence Services is UK PharmaScan – this is a closed-access horizon-scanning database with over 150 registered companies recording information on new medicines in development. UK PharmaScan provides up-to-date information on new medicines such as clinical trial and regulatory information to national horizon scanning groups including NHS England, who now use it as a primary source of information on new medicines.