Evidence-based medicine

Quality assurance: Involvement of experts and patients

The process of producing our information usually takes several months. During this time, our draft versions are reviewed and revised internally and externally several times. Although we are, of course, not able to please each and every expert and reader, we try to take as many comments into consideration as possible.

Internal peer review

Experts from other departments of the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany) are also involved in the production of our information. For example, they assure the quality of the search for suitable literature, as well as the selection and evaluation of the systematic reviews. The experts in our institute include doctors, healthcare researchers and scientists, as well as statisticians and specialists in the fields of psychology and the social sciences.

External peer review

We send drafts of our information to independent experts who are specialized in the topic area. We review their comments internally, and make improvements to our draft versions accordingly.

Comments and testing by users

Before publishing information on our website, we give patient representatives, experts and representatives from industry the opportunity to submit comments on our information within four weeks.

Members of IQWiG’s Board of Trustees are asked to give us feedback too. The Board of Trustees includes medical societies, patient representatives, consumer advice centers, associations of dentists, doctors, and psychotherapists, as well as religious institutions, hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry.

Alongside the peer reviews, each article is read by people who are often personally affected by the medical condition in question. This “testing by users” takes place at the Hannover Medical School (MHH, Germany).

After four weeks, the comments from the peer reviews and user testing are then discussed at an editorial meeting, and taken into consideration when we finalize our information.