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About the Rapid Response Service

Canadian health care decision-makers need to stay on top of health technology research as it emerges. The CADTH Rapid Response Service provides health care providers and other decision-makers with up-to-date evidence tailored to meet their specific requirements. The Rapid Response Service helps fill urgent jurisdictional needs for evidence that informs policy and practice decisions.

Fast and Flexible

CADTH’s experience, pan-Canadian scope, and independence makes it a leader in the systematic retrieval, examination, and assessment of research to appraise the impact of a health technology, such as a drug, medical device, diagnostic test, or a procedure.

Rapid Response is CADTH’s fastest and most flexible offering. Its menu of products ranges from a list of relevant articles to more extensive reports that include interpretation and external peer review. Timelines for completion of the reports are flexible and negotiated with the requestor.

CADTH has produced thousands of Rapid Response reports covering topics ranging from the treatment of chronic hepatitis C and hyperbaric oxygen therapy to cardiac imaging in preoperative patients. Completed reports are posted on cadth.ca, contributing to a freely available online reference pool.

CADTH on Speed-Dial

CADTH has a team of Liaison Officers located across the country to ensure ease of access to CADTH services and an understanding of local issues. These Liaison Officers and other CADTH experts work with organizations to understand their needs and level of comfort working with evidence. They help refine research questions and interpret evidence.

Many organizations find that working with CADTH helps them develop a stronger culture of evidence-driven decision-making. Some jurisdictions have integrated the request for a CADTH Rapid Response report right into their planning procedures.

Eligibility and Scope

With the exception of Ontario and Quebec, all provinces, territories, and federal health care programs provide funding to operate CADTH’s Rapid Response Service. Anyone from a Canadian health ministry, health authority, hospital, or federally or regionally administered health care program in a contributing jurisdiction can make a request.

Rapid Response handles questions related to prescription drugs, diagnostic tests, and surgical/medical/dental devices and procedures — but not broad health system issues, such as information technology, program delivery, staffing, and finance.

Types of Rapid Response Report

This table describes the levels of comprehensiveness available through the CADTH Rapid Response Service.

Report Type Description
Products tailored to meet the needs and timelines of the requester.
Reference list List of the best available evidence with abstracts and links to full-text documents, if available.
Summary of abstracts Summary based on the abstracts of the best available evidence. Includes the abstracts and links to full-text documents, if available.
Summary with critical appraisal Written summary of the evidence from full-text articles, with a critical appraisal and policy implications.
Peer-reviewed summary with critical appraisal Summary of systematically selected evidence with a critical appraisal and policy implications. An external peer review is conducted.
Systematic review and meta-analysis A systematic review of the evidence and a meta-analysis is performed, where appropriate. Authorship includes a content expert, and an external peer review is conducted.
Rapid health technology assessment A systematic review of clinical studies and an economic component that includes a systematic review of economic studies, an economic evaluation or a budget impact analysis. It excludes a review of the health services impact. Authorship includes a content expert, and an external peer review is conducted.

Once finalized, CADTH Rapid Response reports are posted on cadth.ca, where they are freely available to anyone. To find out if there is a Rapid Response report for a particular topic of interest to you, simply use our search engine or contact the CADTH Liaison Officer nearest you.