Snoop in the backstage of public health affairs and issues
At the crossroads between Evidence-based medicine and investigative journalism
Re-Check is an independent organization specialized in investigating and mapping health affairs.
Founded in 2015 by Catherine Riva and Serena Tinari, Re-Check is registered as a non-profit association.
Re-Check adheres to the Evidence-based medicine (EBM) principles and contributes to projects that are at the intersection between academic research and investigative journalism. It relies on an international network of specialists.
Our statutes (PDF)
Principles and Activities
Information on health care bears major deficits: undisclosed conflicts of interest, unverified claims and copy paste journalism. This stems from the fact that health systems are affected by dependencies, colossal financial stakes, and flawed by a lack of scientific rigor.
Our experience shows that health interventions (drugs, vaccines, diagnostic tests and preventive measures) are not stand alone, but are part of a constellation of players, interests and regulations. They are therefore “health affairs”. We consider them as such and map them out through in-depth research.
Re-Check investigates and publishes only information that is, to the best of our knowledge, evidence-based. We evaluate the evidence, expose conflicts of interest, and analyze risks and benefits sticking to the principles of Evidence-based medicine and to the highest standards of investigative journalism. To put our findings in perspective, we map health affairs as they take place and connect the dots between players, interests and regulations. Our maps allow for power dynamics and networks of influence to be grasped at a glance.
Re-Check contributes to projects that are at the intersection between academic research and investigative journalism. We publish our investigations in open access on our info-stream, and in peer-reviewed medical journals.
The work we put into researching and writing Re-Check open access publications is pro bono. We receive honoraria when we give lectures and courses, or for ad hoc mandates. You can support us via this platform
Re-Check is an association within the scope of Articles 60 and following of the Swiss Civil Code. Its mission is to practice and promote investigative journalism in the field of health and medicine. We contribute to projects that are at the intersection between academic research and the dissemination of evidence-based information to a wider public. We believe in transparency and understand investigative journalism as a work in the public interest. Our ethical charter details our core values and principles.
Re-Check relies on the advice of an International Advisory Board. Its members are professional investigative journalists, academics, patient’s safety advocates. These individuals have no conflicts of interest in the field of health and medicine, and advise Re-Check pro bono.
More on the statutes of our association, our Board of Directors (see above) and our financial auditor.
Evidence-based medicine (EBM)
“Evidence based medicine is the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. The practice of evidence-based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research. By individual clinical expertise we mean the proficiency and judgment that individual clinicians acquire through clinical experience and clinical practice.”
Sackett DL, Rosenberg WM, Gray JA, Haynes RB, Richardson WS. Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn’t. BMJ. 1996 Jan 13;312(7023):71-2. doi: 10.1136/bmj.312.7023.71. (online | PDF)
EBM is therefore about basing clinical decisions on theoretical knowledge and scientific evidence, while considering patient preferences. But in no case can this evidence replace the judgment and experience of the physician. EBM therefore complements and challenges traditional medical practice, but does not replace it. This very important role given to the evidence makes it necessary to acquire methodological training in order to be able to evaluate and criticize the validity of evidence.
EBM originated at McMaster University (Canada) in the early 1980s. It was initially a new method of teaching and reasoning in the framework of medical students’ training. In the 1990s, EBM became a methodology for practitioners and was adopted by the Cochrane Collaboration. Today, EBM is not only relevant to medical education, but also to practice, nursing and public health.
Source: Guillemette Utard, «Evidence-Based Medicine. La médecine fondée sur les preuves. Tutoriel». Bibliothèque interuniversitaire de Santé – Paris – juin 2014, licence (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 FR)
In our experience, EBM and investigative journalism are similar in many ways: both have a well-defined methodological and ethical framework, and both are based on a hypothetical-deductive approach that involves explicitly formulating a hypothesis and assessing veracity of all facts. We are convinced that bringing them together is fruitful and in the public interest.
We share our methods through conferences, workshops and training. Our modules are for journalists, consumer protection organizations’ representatives and interested public. The teaching style is multilingual and tailored to the needs of each student. If you are interested in a bespoke module, wish to invite us for a conference or to offer us to join a project, do not hesitate and contact us.
You can follow our activities here
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