Inspiring Confidence with Evidence First
has shown us how information can spread just as rapidly as a virus. The
COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how crucial it is to have access to
trustworthy and evidence-based health information. As vaccines started to roll
out across Canada, with many of our health care workers at the front of the
line, we understood how it was all too easy to be adrift in a sea of
spring of 2021, Bruyère launched an initiative to connect staff members who had
questions about the COVID-19 vaccines with physicians, researchers, and
pharmacists in order to get tailored and trusted information to those who
Farrell, pharmacist and researcher at Bruyère, was one of the of the team members
picking up the phone.
with something new like COVID-19 means the evidence is constantly changing,”
Farrell shared. “Especially in the early stages, the information being
generated and shared on a given day might be different a few weeks later.”
realized was that, more than anything, people were searching for accurate
up-to-date information from a trusted resource in order to make an informed
decision. Whether it was to better understand the possibility of allergic
reactions, discuss the effects of vaccination after a COVID infection, or to
address concerns about potential side effects that had been prevalent in the
media – the goal of this initiative was to provide every caller with enough
information to be comfortable and informed in their decision.
open dialogue is a cornerstone to promoting evidence-informed decision making.
Having both clinical and research experience in making information accessible
in plain language was the foundation to Farrell’s approach during her calls,
but she acknowledged that finding trustworthy and complete information can be
time-consuming even for an expert, and difficult to interpret for the average
translation of evidence to useful and accessible information for the public can
be instrumental in dispelling myths and providing advice for unique cases and
concerns. Bruyère was lucky to have the expertise of these select team members –
including Dr. Sanjay Acharya, Roland Halil, PharmD, Amy Hsu, PhD, Dr. Peter Lawlor,
and Dr. Jill Rice – facilitating knowledge translation and fact-checking amidst
the evolving landscape of evidence, guidelines, and recommendations.
conversations with Farrell, staff members who spoke with her were able to
confidently make their decision to receive the vaccine and discuss
accommodations with the clinic to ensure a smooth and safe experience.
inspires confidence,” said Farrell. When a person has the information at hand
in a way they can understand it, evidence is the basis for the best possible
decisions and health outcomes for everyone.