20 facts for 20 years of ARCHE

Lisa Hartling - 24 November 2020


The Alberta Research Centre for Health Evidence (ARCHE), based in the Department of Pediatrics and currently directed by Lisa Hartling, is celebrating 20 years supporting evidence-informed health care. Key activities at ARCHE are to identify, critically appraise, and synthesize scientific evidence, and to develop and support strategies to communicate the best research evidence to those making healthcare decisions. ARCHE has worked with faculty, staff and learners in the Department of Pediatrics, departments and faculties across the University of Alberta, and universities and organizations around the world. Grants and contracts, which total over $20 million, support ARCHE’s research and training activities.

To learn more about ARCHE, check out “20 Facts for 20 Years”.

Our beginnings

1. Terry Klassen (Chair, Department of Pediatrics 1999-2009) founded ARCHE in 2000 with support from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research and the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation.

What we do

2. Conduct systematic reviews and other knowledge syntheses on a wide range of topics, involving multiple stakeholders to inform clinical decision-making.

3. Produced Evidence-Based Child Health: A Cochrane Review Journal from 2009-2014.

4. Support clinical guideline development by the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care, the United States Preventive Services Task Force, and other national and international organizations.

5. Produce information resources on common pediatric conditions for parents and families together with Translating Evidence in Child Health to Enhance Outcomes (ECHO) Research (Faculty of Nursing).

6. Lead methodological research in knowledge synthesis (e.g., overviews of reviews, rapid reviews, searching methods, machine learning) and knowledge translation (e.g., arts and narrative, social media, parent engagement).

7. Partnered with StaR Child Health to develop standards for the design, conduct, and reporting of pediatric trials; ran and collaborated on many trials.

8. Collaborated with Department of Pediatrics members and other colleagues on many projects, including over 300 peer-reviewed publications, 36 issues of Evidence-based Child Health, over 30 clinician columns in Paediatrics and Child Health, over 20 Bottom Line Recommendations, and over 20 parent tools.

How we do it
9. 2000-present: Home of Cochrane Child Health, an international group that advocates for making health decisions based on high-quality evidence.

10. 2002-2020: Home of the U of A Evidence-based Practice Centre, a program supported by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to produce evidence reports on clinical and healthcare organization and delivery topics (four successive multi-year funding awards worth over $10 million).

11. 2006-2011: Housed Pediatric Emergency Research Canada (PERC), a national network of researchers dedicated to improving care through multi-centre research; PERC members were honoured with a CIHR-CMAJ Top Achievement Award in 2011.

12. 2012-2017: Formal partnership with the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute to provide services in knowledge synthesis.
13. 2012-present: One of the sites for TRanslating Emergency Knowledge for Kids (TREKK), a National Centre of Excellence in Knowledge Mobilization.

14. 2014-present: Home of the U of A Evidence Review and Synthesis Centre (ERSC), producing evidence syntheses to inform recommendations by the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.

15. 2016-present: Conduct evidence syntheses to support the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.

16. 2016-present: Home (with ECHO Research) of the Pediatric Parent Advisory Group, organized to seek advice and knowledge from a parent perspective to inform research activities in child health.

Interdisciplinary Collaborations
17. The AHRQ-funded Evidence-based Practice Centre involved over 50 academics from seven departments in FoMD, four other faculties at U of A, and colleagues from Universities of Calgary, Manitoba and McGill.

18. The PHAC-funded Evidence Review Synthesis Centre involves over 20 colleagues from four departments in FoMD, two other faculties at U of A, and the University of Calgary.

19. Led “Putting Evidence into Practice” interdisciplinary workshops nine times between 2003-2015.

20. Provided training in evidence-based practice to hundreds of learners and health professionals.

Some former and current department members take a look at ARCHE’s impact:

"It is amazing what ARCHE has accomplished over the last 20 years. It is an invaluable partner in our national knowledge mobilization entity, Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids. Their high-quality and innovative work in knowledge synthesis and knowledge translation are world class,” says Terry Klassen, founding director of ARCHE.

“ARCHE has had a significant and far-reaching impact on clinical decision-making. It has coordinated clinical columns for Paediatrics and Child Health, the official journal of the Canadian Paediatric Society. ARCHE has also affected hundreds of students and healthcare professionals through their inter-disciplinary training events,” says Joan Robinson, professor and divisional director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

“The ARCHE team is so knowledgeable, approachable, and a pleasure to work with. The team provides the methodologic expertise to complement the clinical perspectives and priorities of our front-line care providers, leading to responsive and timely syntheses. We have used modern, innovative ways to share the results, thanks to their team's creativity and open-mindedness,” says Samina Ali, professor of Pediatric Emergency Medicine.