The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Evidence-Based Practice Applied to the Clinical Laboratory. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Step 1: Formulate the Question

The first step is to ask a focused question related to your topic, issue, or process.
For example, consider this question: What can be done to decrease turnaround times for serum lactate levels so that septic patients can be identified sooner? Notice that the question is focused on a solution. This helps to direct your research as well as ensure you are addressing the problem.
Phrasing the question as it is stated above is better than asking the same question in a non-solution-focused manner, such as, "Why are our turnaround times for serum lactate so poor?"