As we consider EBP we should point out the obvious fact that up-to-date, current research is desired over older information. This is simply due to the fact that medicine evolves very quickly and practices change too frequently to make old information reliable. Modern evidence-based decision making emphasizes "current" and "best" clinical and research-based evidence and relates this information directly to patient care.
Up-to-date information can usually be found that describes evidence from research studies as well as current best clinical practices (also known as Standard of Care).
Applying evidence-based methods to decision making will result in quality improvement. These steps that reflect an EBP approach are recommended when working through a clinical laboratory problem or evaluating a change in process:
- ASK: Formulate a question.
- ACQUIRE: Search for relevant and meaningful data and information.
- APPRAISE: Appraise/assess the evidence.
- APPLY: Based on the evidence, make recommendations and summarize your case.
- IMPLEMENT: Once approved, implement the process change.
- AUDIT: Audit and assess the process change.