Although it is evident that healthcare professionals have been using research based knowledge to influence decision-making for a long time, the application of evidence based medicine as a theoretical approach to practical issues in healthcare settings has cemented the value of up-to-date medical research. Today, being informed, with regard to contemporary research, is a prerequisite of any healthcare professional and the vast majority of actions now undertaken in healthcare settings are based on guidelines set out with the aim to provide the best possible care by using the best possible evidence.
A Universal System
The evolution of the healthcare system to embrace the practice of evidence based medicine affects all areas of healthcare provision, from the bottom with students learning how to implement this method as part of their degree programmes, to the top with the most senior consultants making decisions based on modern research rather than personal experience.
Impact on Patients
For patients, evidence based care means they receive treatments that have been scientifically proven to be effective rather than those with inconclusive results. Furthermore patients have a greater understanding of the options open to them and can find comfort in the fact that the treatment they are receiving has been tried and tested.
Impact on Professionals
For healthcare professionals there is a set of guidelines to adhere to and the sense of ambiguity that can arise from discussions with colleagues and inconclusive research trials should be a thing of the past. For those who were not familiar with the evidence based medicine model, it is now essential for them to learn and practice this concept.