Evidence-based medicine (EBM) can be defined as the process of systematically finding, appraising, and using contemporary research findings and then integrating it with a patient’s values as the basis for clinical decisions. It integrates clinical experience and the patient’s value with the best available research information. This type of medicine emphasizes on finding the best available evidence to answer a query. There have been long chains of information that show the quality of the evidence that can be found to answer those queries. Physicians have a positive attitude towards EBM. They mostly agree that it is helpful when it comes to decision making and improved on the patient’s outcome.
The practice of evidence-based medicine requires time and resources that may not be available to a busy clinician. If one is going to use EBM then the physician has to find evidence from scientific studies that are relevant to his patients. All the studies that are available may not necessarily mean that they are the best to your patient. That brings up the reason for appraisal of any evidence that you get to make sure that they are relevant to your patient. After coming up with the evidence the final step will be to integrate it with the patient’s values, personal beliefs, and their personal needs. Physicians in busy clinics with very heavy workloads might find it hard to access the information online. Some of the physicians also lack familiarity with the evidence-based resources or do not have the materials to access the same.
Physicians are encouraged to use EBM every time they have a patient. This makes sure that the patient gets the best health care there is and that also improves on the quality of the patient’s outcome. Physicians might always want to use EBM but there may be some constraints that they may not be able to utilize the EBM properly. Under these conditions, they find it hard to use EBM. Evidence changes rapidly and it will be up to the physician to ensure that they are up to date with the current state of account. Where a physician is not sure about the evidence or there is no enough evidence the physician is discouraged from using EBM because of the uncertainty of the matter. There are other situations where the physician might be forced to follow hospital policy and if they do not encourage the use EBM then the doctor will have no choice but obey.
There is need to enhance the skills and perception of EBM of the physicians. Enhancing their skills alone may however not be enough. The attitudes of the students also need to be fostered as they are encouraged on the use of EBM. Improving care cannot be single-handedly improved by simple knowledge and skills, there is need also to change the attitude and behaviors of the physicians. This however might not be enough to move the evidence-based medicine into clinical practice. There will be need to improve on the ease of access of the EBM resources at the point of care. The physicians might have the online resources with them but accessing them might quite complex and without ease. Another way of ensuring that there is full utilization of EBM is by use of incentives. The physicians who use EBM should be given incentives in order to make them like they are doing a good job and that will also encourage them to use the methods even more.
EBM is used to prevent major mistakes in the cause of treatment, which in turn raises the quality, and standard health care that is given to the patient. It requires a lot of knowledge from the physician. The sources of knowledge have increased tremendously with the online resources that are readily available online. Physicians might however not have the time to go through all this resources especially those are stationed at a busy clinic. Providing the resources in such an environment will be a step forward towards improving health care.
Arri C. & Khalid S. N. (2004) What is the Evidence That Postgraduate Teaching in Evidence Based Medicine Chnages Anything? A Systematic Review British Medical Journal Vol329(7473) retrieved from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC524555/
Kerem S, Aviv S., Shai L., Mayer B., Paula F & Shmuel R. (2007) The Impact of an Evidence-Based Educational Intervention on Primary Care Physicians: a Qualitative Study Journal of General International Medicine Vol. 2(33) 327-331 retrieved from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1824748/