Scope of our work

The focus of EPOC is on reviews of interventions designed to improve professional practice and the delivery of effective health services.

Interventions include various forms of continuing education, quality assurance projects, financial, organisational, or regulatory interventions that can affect the ability of healthcare professionals to deliver services more effectively and efficiently. Interventions that aim to influence professional practice through patients are within the scope of EPOC. However, interventions that are solely aimed at changing the behaviour of consumers, such as lifestyle counselling, are not within EPOC's scope, unless both professional and patient behaviour is affected, for example interventions that aim to improve smoking cessation counselling by professionals where smoking cessation is the primary outcome measure, or interventions aimed at improving professionals' management of hypertension or diabetes where blood pressure or blood sugar control, respectively, is the primary outcome measure.

Organisational interventions are those which involve a change in the structure or delivery of healthcare. In other words, an organisational intervention is a change in who delivers health care, how care is organised, or where care is delivered. Examples of relevant organisational interventions include case management, revision of professional roles, use of multidisciplinary teams, formularies and changes in medical records systems. Examples of relevant financial interventions include changes in how professionals are reimbursed, incentives and penalties. Examples of relevant regulatory interventions include changes in medical liability, management of patient complaints, peer review and licensure.

There is potential for overlap with other collaborative review groups where they undertake reviews that are not only relevant to their clinical scope but which also include organisational aspects of healthcare. There is potential for overlap with the Consumers and Communication Group in the following interventions that are listed in EPOC's topics list:

Continuing education and quality assurance
Patient mediated interventions
Financial 
Patient interventions
Organisational 
Patient oriented interventions
Regulatory
Management of patient complaints

Where overlap does occur with other groups, EPOC welcomes the opportunity to collaborate in supporting reviews through the editorial process.