Cochrane Malaysia operates as a network of sites around the country, with the coordinating site based at Penang Medical College. The other network sites are the Institute for Medical Research, Melaka-Manipal Medical College, University of Malaya and Universiti Sains Malaysia. Cochrane Malaysia aims to make a major contribution to evidence-informed health care, particularly in Malaysia but also internationally. Prof Jacqueline Ho of Penang Medical College is the first convenor of Cochrane Malaysia.
Cochrane, which recently celebrated its 20th year, has been described in The Lancet as an enterprise that rivals the human genome project in its potential implications for modern medicine. The Cochrane Library has been described as the single most reliable source of information about healthcare interventions. It has an impact factor of 6.03 and is ranked 13th in the "medicine, general and internal" category.
Cochrane is an international network of more than 30,000 dedicated people from over 130 countries. Volunteers prepare high quality systematic reviews of healthcare interventions to help people make well-informed decisions about health care and health policy. A systematic review summarises the results of available carefully designed healthcare studies and provides a high level of evidence on the effectiveness of healthcare treatments and drugs.
Over 6,000 reviews have been published in the Cochrane Library. The work of Cochrane is internationally recognised as the benchmark for high quality information about the effectiveness of health care. Cochrane's vision is that healthcare decision-making throughout the world will be informed by high quality research evidence.
Part of Cochrane Malaysia's role is to provide training to healthcare professionals, patients and others on how to prepare, access and use Cochrane reviews. In the last decade, the number of Malaysian authors who contribute to Cochrane reviews increased from just three in 2002 to 263 by the end of 2015. There are also plans to train members of the media on the reviews’ impact on the general public.
In Australasia and South East Asia, the activities of Cochrane are coordinated by Cochrane Australia, of which Malaysia is one of its branches.