The first Centre for Health Evidence (CHE) project was initiated in March 1999 under the Health Infostructure Support Program of the Canadian Office of Health and the Information Highway.
With matched funding from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (now Alberta Innovates - Health solutions, the University of Alberta, the University of Manitoba, the Capital Health Authority (Edmonton), the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, InfoWard Inc., and the Multimedia Advanced Computational Infrastructure initiative, a demonstration project was launched to explore uses of the Internet for supporting evidence-based decision-making in clinical practice settings.
During the start up phase, the CHE Demonstration Project was active in two locations, each with a different health focus, Child Health in Winnipeg and Adult Health in Edmonton. The demonstration phase ended in March 2001, allowing both groups to move towards new collaborative opportunities. The Centre for Health Evidence is currently located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
The initial focus of CHE was on infostructure - selecting, installing, and configuring Internet technologies to be deployed in various settings. People involved with CHE during this time will remember the old CLINT system, the grandparent of the current VIVIDESK technology. Many years of development have brought us light years ahead in ease of use and capability!
CHE knowledge services were evaluated by the health authorities, tested, approved and installed in participating health regions. CHE also supervised electronic data collection protocols, enabling research about how people use information tools in their daily work at the front lines of health care.
In time, technical barriers to information access began to melt away with improvements to network technologies and use of high-speed Internet. CHE helped create "informatics-rich" zones, for example by installing CLINT on an entire hospital's computer network, thus enabling quick access to high-quality information resources throughout the institution.
In due course, CHE discovered that the remaining barriers to evidence-based decision-making were not technological. Rather, attitudes and the ability to appraise information were the key. Accordingly, CHE shifted its focus to the development of educational tools and enabling people to find, recognize, and use the best information available. This mission has brought CHE its current success and guides our philosophy.
To learn more about the work we have done, read our Progress Report.
The Centre for Health Evidence gratefully acknowledges the support of our original funders. Without their faith in our vision, we would not exist as the organization we are today.