High-quality authoritative evidence and best practice

This year there were more than 8.7 million visits and 28.7 million page views across the suite of NICE Evidence Services products

In April 2013, NHS Evidence became NICE Evidence Services - a suite of services that provide internet access to high-quality authoritative evidence and best practice. The services cover health, social care and public health evidence. NICE Evidence Services aim to help professionals make better and quicker evidence-based decisions and consist of the following 6 resources:

  1. Evidence Search which provides free open access to a unique index of selected and authoritative health and social care evidence-based information.
  2. Healthcare Database Advanced Search (HDAS) which provides authenticated access to an extensive set of journals and bibliographic databases.
  3. Clinical Knowledge Summaries (CKS) which provides primary care practitioners with access to evidence-based guidance on over 330 key conditions presenting in primary care.
  4. British National Formulary which provides open access to BNF and BNFC content across the UK.
  5. Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments (UK DUETs) which provides research funders and researchers, access to the ‘known unknowns' in the evidence base from selected sources.
  6. Bulletins, Alerts and Evidence Awareness service which helps busy professionals keep up-to-date with important new evidence.

Evidence Search is a web based portal aimed at health and social care professionals that provides free open access to a unique index of selected and authoritative evidence-based information. It displays guidance formally accredited by the NICE accreditation programme, systematic reviews, ongoing trials, comprehensive information about medicines, and houses the national ‘Quality and Productivity case studies’ database. It also provides information for the public.

HDAS is an advanced search facility that provides access to journals and bibliographic reference databases that have been selected and purchased by Health Education England and which can be accessed with an OpenAthens account. OpenAthens is an access and identity management system which facilitates access to locally and nationally purchased content for eligible health and social care staff. In February 2014 following extensive user testing the OpenAthens system was upgraded to simplify the registration and management processes for both end users and administrators of this system.

NICE CKS is one of the principle sources of evidence-based information for primary care professionals in the UK. It supports primary care professionals in making clinical decisions based on the best available evidence, national guidance and policies, and best practice. Since the NICE CKS re-launch on 8 April 2013 there have been over 3 million page views of the service. Over that period 8 new topics, based on published NICE clinical guidelines and other established guidance were added to the collection. Eighty two of the 330 topics were also updated.

Evidence Services offer open access, in the UK, to the British National Formulary (BNF) and British National Formulary for Children (BNFC). The BNF is the most widely used medicines information resource in the UK. There were over 2 million page views of the BNF via Evidence Services between April 2013 and March 2014.

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 exploration of new evidence. There were 17 Evidence Updates published between April 2013 and March 2014, covering a range of clinical and public health topics. Of these, 7 Evidence Updates identified new evidence that could have a potential impact on guidance.  

We have continued to work with university schools to run the NICE Evidence Search Student Champion Scheme. This national programme aims to improve the routine use of evidence-based information by future doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. This year, we received more than 8.7 million visits and 28.7 million page views aceoss the suite of NICE Evidence Services products.