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Table 2 Summary of what can and cannot be done in what timelines (table from Wilson et al. 2014) [12]

From: Developing a rapid-response program for health system decision-makers in Canada: findings from an issue brief and stakeholder dialogue

Timeline What can be done What cannot be done
Three business days Identify systematic reviews and economic evaluations relevant to health systems from key databases (e.g. Health Systems Evidence) Identify primary research studies (e.g. published studies and unpublished reports)
Provide summary tables that outline Conduct quality appraisals for reviews that are not available through Health Systems Evidence
   key findings from relevant systematic reviews,
   quality appraisals of systematic reviews (for reviews that are available through Health Systems Evidence) and Prepare a detailed summary of key findings
   countries in which studies included in systematic reviews were conducted (for reviews that are available in Health Systems Evidence) Engage experts to conduct a merit review of the findings to ensure scientific rigour and system relevance
  Conduct jurisdictional scans of what is being done nationally and internationally
  Conduct a full systematic review
Ten business days Identify systematic reviews and economic evaluations relevant to health systems from key databases (e.g. Health Systems Evidence) Identify grey literature (e.g. unpublished reports) that is not already contained in key databases (e.g. Health Systems Evidence)
Identify relevant primary research studies when limited evidence is available from systematic reviews Prepare a detailed summary of key findings
  Provide summary tables that outline Incorporate feedback from experts engaged in the merit-review process within the 10-day timeline (but a final summary that incorporates reviewers’ feedback will be sent within another five business days)
     key findings from relevant systematic reviews,
     quality appraisals of systematic reviews (for reviews that are available through Health Systems Evidence) and
     countries in which studies included in systematic reviews were conducted (for reviews that are available in Health Systems Evidence)
Prepare a brief summary of the key findings from systematic reviews (and primary research studies where relevant) Conduct jurisdictional scans of what is being done nationally and internationally
Engage experts to conduct a merit review of the brief summary to ensure scientific rigour and system relevance (a draft summary will be submitted to the requester before merit reviewer feedback is received and then a final summary that incorporates reviewers’ feedback will be submitted within another five business days) Conduct a full systematic review
30 business days Identify systematic reviews and economic evaluations relevant to health systems from key databases (e.g. Health Systems Evidence) Conduct a full systematic review
Identify relevant primary research studies when limited evidence is available from systematic reviews  
  Conduct jurisdictional scans of what is being done nationally and internationally through targeted searches of databases for published literature, and websites of relevant jurisdictions and stakeholders for grey literature that is not already contained in key databases (e.g. Health Systems Evidence)  
Consult with experts with knowledge of the topic to identify additional relevant research evidence (contingent on locating relevant experts)  
  Provide summary tables that outline  
     key findings from relevant systematic reviews  
     quality appraisals of systematic reviews (for reviews that are available through Health Systems Evidence) and  
     countries in which studies included in systematic reviews were conducted (for reviews that are available in Health Systems Evidence)  
  Prepare a detailed summary of the key findings from systematic reviews (and primary research studies where relevant)  
  Engage experts to conduct a merit review of the detailed summary to ensure scientific rigour and system relevance and incorporate reviewers’ feedback in the final report within the 30-business-day timeline