Image: Burnet Institute Deputy Program Director, Disease Elimination, and Co-Head of Viral Hepatitis Research, Dr Joseph Doyle
Senior Burnet Institute researchers Dr Joseph Doyle and Associate Professor Josh Vogel have been appointed to a new body charged with the development of evidence-based guidance for clinicians caring for people with COVID-19.
The National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce will analyse emerging national and international research and data on COVID-19 to provide frontline health care workers with the most up-to-date information and advice on the disease in a rapidly evolving environment.
Recommendations will be reviewed and updated in near ‘real-time’ to facilitate the best possible care for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection across primary, acute and critical care settings.
A consultant infectious diseases physician at The Alfred hospital and Burnet’s Deputy Program Director, Disease Elimination, and Co-Head of Viral Hepatitis Research, Dr Doyle will sit on the Taskforce National Steering Committee and National Guidelines Leadership Group as the nominee of the Australian Society for Infectious Diseases.
Burnet Principal Research Fellow, Associate Professor Vogel – whose work focuses on the major causes of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality – joins the Taskforce Evidence Review Team as its Special Populations Clinical Consultant.
“These living guidelines are an essential tool for clinicians in Australia, providing a single, up-to-date evidence-based resource they can consult on patient care,” Associate Professor Vogel said.
“With new studies on COVID-19 emerging every day, these living guidelines help ensure that patients are being treated according to the latest evidence.
“They will expand and be kept up-to-date on a rolling basis.”
Priority topics identified by the Taskforce to be in urgent need of clear guidelines include:
- Drug treatment of COVID-19 infection
- Use of oxygen therapies
- Key elements of critical care, and
- Disease categories and monitoring
Convened by the Australian Living Evidence Consortium, led by Cochrane Australia based in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, the Taskforce includes a large coalition of peak health professional bodies.
“It’s very exciting and it’s a very commendable project which the Living Evidence Consortium and Cochrane Australia have put together and I think all the professional groups are looking forward to taking part,” Dr Doyle said.
“And we’re very grateful the Federal Government have funded this project to the tune of AUD$1.5 million because it does take a lot to sort through all the evidence that’s out there and keep it up to date to ensure we’re making the best decisions that we can, as quickly as we can.”