Evidence-Based Medicine is the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values. The practice of EBM is a process of life-long, self-directed learning in which caring for the patient creates the need for clinically important information about diagnosis, prognosis, therapy, and other clinical and health care issues.
Evidence-Based Medicine or Evidence-Based Practice has grown and is now the center of practice in health professions. It has evolved beyond gathering evidence and personal clinical knowledge, it now considers the patients' individual opinions, values, and circumstances for a more complete/patient-centered view of practicing medicine. Think of EBM as a puzzle, where each component is as important and necessary for successful completion as the last.
It is your job, as the clinician, to combine the best research evidence, your clinical knowledge, and the patient's values to best care for the patient. When all aspects of the puzzle are utilized to make clinical decision making, you are performing Evidence-Based Medicine.
WHY IS EBM IMPORTANT?
EBP is important because it aims to provide the most effective care that is available, with the aim of improving patient outcomes. Patients expect to receive the most effective care based on the best available evidence. EBP promotes an attitude of inquiry in health professionals and starts us thinking about: Why am I doing this in this way? Is there evidence that can guide me to do this in a more effective way? As health professionals, part of providing a professional service is ensuring that our practice is informed by the best available evidence. EBP also plays a role in ensuring that finite health resources are used wisely and that relevant evidence is considered when decisions are made about funding health services.
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