Evidence-based practice is the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values.
Best research evidence refers to clinically relevant research, often from the basic health and medical sciences, 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.
Clinical expertise means the ability to use clinical skills and past experience to rapidly identify each patient’s unique health state and diagnosis, individual risks and benefits of potential interventions, and personal values and expectations.
Patient values refers to the unique preferences, concerns and expectations that each patient brings to a clinical encounter and that must be integrated into clinical decisions if they are to serve the patient.
(Sackett, David L., Sharon E. Straus, W. Scott Richardson, et al. Evidence-Based Medicine: How to Practice & Teach EBM. 2nd edition. London, England: Churchill Livingstone, 2000.)
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