The Brazil Health Economics VHL (BVS ECOS in Portuguese and Spanish) is the national information portal on Health Economics coordinated by the Department of Health Economics, Investments and Performance of the Ministry of Health (DESID/SE/MS) with the technical support of the Latin American and Caribbean Institute of Health Sciences Information (BIREME/PAHO/WHO).
Initiated in 2005, through the articulation of DESID/SE/MS with BIREME, the Health Economics VHL aims to collect, organize, index, publish, disseminate, and evaluate scientific and technical information in health economics in Brazil to subsidize the decision-making processes of health professionals and managers, as well as creating elements that guarantee the dissemination of information to society.
The Health Economics VHL is composed of several sources of information and seeks to meet the scientific and technical information needs of professionals, researchers, and managers in the area. The portal is organized to facilitate access to these sources of information either independently or in an integrated manner. The main components of the portal are:
- Research area, where a simultaneous search is carried out in the main sources of information of the VHL;
- Thematic searches, which directs the user to bibliographic references on the main themes of the area;
- Collection of Organized Information Sources including bibliographic databases, information systems, catalogs, terminology etc.;
- Events, news clippings, and highlights, with current and relevant news, a calendar of events and area highlights;
- VHL Network, including links to institutions that are part of the Health Economics VHL Advisory Committee.
The development of this VHL is guided by a set of specific projects defined by its Advisory Committee composed of governmental and research institutions, which was constituted on June 8, 2006, reinforced in 2009 through the Minutes of commitment to the development of the Brazil Health Economics Virtual Health Library, and formalized in 2018 through Ordinance No. 343, of April 16, 2018.
The development of the Health Economics VHL is facilitated by a Cooperation Term signed between the Ministry of Health and the Representation of the Pan American Health Organization in Brazil through BIREME/PAHO/WHO since 2006, when Phase I of the project was established.
The project continued in the following years, always seeking to develop and strengthen the Health Economics VHL and its information sources.
Phase VI of the project began in October 2020 and the planned activities were completed in September 2022. In this phase, several actions were carried out with a focus on the user and to improve access to the Health Economics VHL portal, with emphasis on:
- Portal update: VHL management tool version update and implementation of accessibility and responsiveness standards;
- Learning resources: development and availability of the following products: video tutorial, quick guide, and VHL access course;
- Integrated research interface: tool version update and permanent processing of VHL information sources;
- User research: development and availability of the following products and services: poll for permanent feedback, survey for content suggestion, and survey for user satisfaction and needs;
- Support and hosting: permanent activity carried out throughout the project.
As a result of these actions, it is already possible to observe an increase of 94.81% in the users number and 108.15% in pageviews, compared to the same previous period.