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Evidence-Based Practice: Introduction

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What is EBP?

EBP is a method of effectively translating EBM into practice: using the best existing evidence and research, knowledge of clinical experts, and patient preferences, in clinical practice.


EBP diagram


What is EBM?

EBP differs slightly from EBM, in that it is an umbrella term of sorts; it encompasses evidence-based medicine, evidence-based nursing, evidence-based physical therapy, evidence-based dentistry, etc.

Evidence-based practice (EBP) was developed from the concept of evidence-based medicine and has been extended and applied to many different disciplines, particularly in the health sciences.

"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. Increased expertise is reflected in many ways, but especially in more effective and efficient diagnosis and in the more thoughtful identification and compassionate use of individual patients' predicaments, rights, and preferences in making clinical decisions about their care. By best available external clinical evidence we mean clinically relevant research, often from the basic sciences of medicine, but especially from patient centered clinical research into the accuracy and precision of diagnostic tests (including the clinical examination), the power of prognostic markers, and the efficacy and safety of therapeutic, rehabilitative, and preventive regimens."

Sackett, D., Rosenberg, W., Muir Gray, J., Haynes, R. Richardson, W.  (1996). Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn't. British Medical Journal312, 71-72.

To obtain evidence from systematic research, scholars must often use the library resources. Therefore, knowing where to look, how to search, how to evaluate, what to choose, how to store, and how to manage the information from the library or other information source is very important.

Why Evidence based practice?

- Improves patient outcomes when health care is based on evidence from well-designed studies rather than on traditional practice or clinical expertise alone.

- Streamlines nursing care by eliminating unnecessary, ineffective, or unnecessarily time-consuming practices.

- Stops existing practices that may be unintentionally harming patients.

- Meets the expectations of well-informed patients who want their care based on scientific evidence.

- Encourages health care practices based on the current best evidence rather than outdated information.