Engaging Stakeholders in EPC Work (Text Version)
On September 28, 2010, Melissa McPheeters made this presentation at the 2010 Annual Conference. Select to access the PowerPoint® presentation (248 KB).
Engaging Stakeholders in EPC Work
Melissa McPheeters, PhD
Co-Director, Vanderbilt EPC
What are the EPCs?
- 14 Centers funded by AHRQ to conduct systematic evidence reviews.
- At work for more than a decade.
- "Pull" rather than "Push" approach to topic selection.
- Increasingly engaged in activities of topic development and refinement and future research needs.
Three images: 1) An illustration of a man wearing a t-shirt that says "steak holder" while holding two t-bone steaks; 2) An image of a man pounding a stake into the ground with a hammer; and 3) An illustration of individuals holding pieces of a puzzle while sitting around a conference table with an unfinished puzzle in the center.
What is a stakeholder?
- Anyone with a "stake."
- Someone affected in some way by the decisional dilemma surrounding a healthcare question.
- For EPCs:
- Patients and patient families.
- Funders (e.g., NIH).
Why use stakeholders in systematic reviews?
- They are our front line.
- They are the end users of our work.
- They bring a range of perspectives to the table.
- They add legitimacy to the process.
- They provide expertise we may not have.
- Topic identification.
- Developing key questions.
- Drawing the analytic framework.
- Setting project scope through selection criteria.
- Assessing completeness of the search.
- Ensuring that the message is clear.
- Identifying research gaps and future research needs.
- Personal networks.
- "Known" leaders in the field.
- Key organizations.
- Official stakeholder groups (e.g. EHC Stakeholders).
- Literature scan.
- Engaging stakeholders in a timely manner.
- Ensuring that stakeholders have an a priori overview of the EPC process.
- Balancing contractual obligations with stakeholder preferences.
- Expecting and managing differences in opinion in a way that keeps the process moving and the team positive.
Managing stakeholder relationships
- Establish ongoing relationships.
- Open-door communication.
- Knowing when to use group work or one-on-one.
- Include administrative assistants on all communications.
- Determine preferred communication method for general information and materials.
- Circulate a contact list to the entire group.
- Encourage, from the start, that senior individuals designate an additional individual to participate alongside them.
- Provide action-oriented minutes of all discussions.
- Make individual follow up calls to KIs who are unable to participate in meetings.
- Offer to arrange calls between content leads, directors and others in "off hours" as needed.
Balancing perspective with representation
- Not all stakeholders have an equal and unbiased "stake"—sometimes by design.
- Conflict of interest does happen.
- EPCs try and balance the perspectives present to manage explicit and underlying conflicts.
- Equal and opposing viewpoints.
- Separate interactions as needed.
Challenges ahead for the EPCs
- Clarifying the role of stakeholders.
- Identifying the optimal number of stakeholders.
- Getting balance in stakeholder types.
- Reaching the right individual at a target group or agency quickly.
- Obtaining and using input from patients and their families either directly or via advocacy groups.