At the most recent GRADE Guideline Development Workshop held in Austin, Texas, our team was joined by two impressive scholars making moves in the field of evidence synthesis and evidence-based medicine. These scholars, Drs. Syed Arsalan Naqvi and Juan Ruiz, were selected to have their workshop registration fee waived based on their application materials, including a description of a current or proposed project to reduce bias in healthcare. They also had the opportunity to present on these topics and field questions from the other workshop attendees.
Syed Arsalan Ahmed Naqvi, M.B.B.S., presented on a current project to apply machine learning to develop an algorithm to automatically assess certainty of evidence in living systematic reviews within a living interactive evidence (LivE) framework. Certainty of evidence assessment requires "repetitive evaluations whenever new studies or updated reports of previously included studies are incorporated into the existing body of evidence," Dr. Naqvi explained. "The manual efforts required to assess certainty of evidence necessitate considerable time and resources, which become even more cumbersome with periodic updates." Dr. Naqvi's project described the proposal for "an adjudication system which leverages an interactive web-based graphical user interface and rule-based algorithms" for assessing certainty in the context of living systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials.
Of his experience at the workshop, Dr. Naqvi said, "“The GRADE guideline workshop was an enriching experience. It was well organized, and precise, focusing on the most important aspects of clinical guideline development. I really enjoyed the small group sessions with the faculty and the participants."
Dr. Juan Ruiz presented his proposal to implement a rapid review and question-and-answer program for hospitalists applying evidence-based medicine in everyday practice. "Doctors have questions every day at the point of care that are not always [addressed], Dr. Ruiz explained. "Factors associated with unanswered medical questions" include "lack of time" and "lack of knowledge and skills to apply evidence-based medicine tools." By training onco-hospitalists in GRADE and creating an accessible database with clinical questions, answers, and recommendations based on evidence-based methodologies, Ruiz hopes to help bridge this gap in the evidence-to-practice pipeline.
"I had the opportunity to participate as a Scholar of the Evidence Foundation in the US GRADE Network workshop in Austin, TX in May 2023," said Dr. Ruiz. "This workshop was focused on non-RCTs, an area of great interest to me since I work analyzing large national databases and electronic medical records of cancer patients. I presented and received valuable feedback for a project to be implemented in a cancer hospital to develop recommendations for daily practice using the GRADE approach. It was a very constructive three-day experience where I was able to learn new skills and share knowledge."
Interested in becoming a scholar? Applications to attend our next fully virtual fall workshop, held October 25-27, 2023, for free close on August 31. See application details here.