The Role Of Information Technology In Evidence Based Medicine

1382 words - 6 pages

Table OF Contents


Background and Definition - Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM)

Effect of EBM in the healthcare industry

Information Technology and the healthcare Industry

Information Technology on Evidence-based Medicine



Evidence-based medicine is the now the new paradigm in the healthcare industry. Information Technology plays an important role in the practice of evidence-based medicine to improving healthcare delivery. It allows physicians to access and evaluate clinical evidence as they put their strategies together for patient care.

Background and Definition of Evidence-based medicine
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Effect of EBM in the healthcare industry
After the introduction of EBM, the concept did not immediately gained approval in the medical industry. It is however, now gaining popularity in the Health Industry. It is seen as an important mechanism for improving healthcare delivery. Glandon, Smaltz and Slovensky (2008). Despite all the popularity, some critics believe the introduction of this concept is to promote a cookbook approach at the expense of individual patient values. Wells (2007). Other criticism of the EBM system includes reliance on empiricism, narrow definition of evidence, lack of evidence efficacy, the limited usefulness for individual patients and threats to the autonomy of the doctor/patient relationship. Cohen, Stavri and Hersh (2003).

One of the effects of Evidence-Based Medicine is given rise to creating guidelines to evaluate and treat various forms medical conditions. The journal of American Medical Association states that, “the development of these guidelines further improves physicians and institution’s performance”. These guidelines also help reduce the mortality rates in heart attack and in diabetic patients. “Evidence-based medicine also provides a range of practical methods for overcoming the gap between research and clinical practice”. Trinder and Reymold (2003).

Evidence-based medicine has also given rise to the emergence of evidence-based practice (EBP). One of the success stories of this concept according to Trinder and Reynolds is that within space of 10 years this concept has had a significant impact on health care policy. In the UK for example it’s given birth to several centers including evidence-based child services and mental health services. Evidence-based Practice is a way of diagnosing and treating, serving and empowering patients, clients or consumers. It allows clinical expertise to use their expertise and the available evidence to come up with the best treatment for patients. Tanebaum (2003)

The implementation of the EBM system encourages physicians to follows various steps in other for the concept to work effectively. This involves using a rigorous process to make decisions for an individual patient or population and this includes,
Asking focused answerable questions that are relevant to the problem in question, finding relevant evidence, test the evidence for its validity and clinical relevance together with its applicability, putting the evidence into practice and is evaluating performance of the evidence-based decisions. Wells (2007)

Information Technology and the healthcare Industry
In the past the health care industry had limited resources to research or get information and to integrate various sources to get the best available evidence. Health care practitioners relied primarily on their individual experience medical textbooks, and other expert opinion to bring answers to patient’s questions and provide the best patient care (Wells 2007). Today Information Technology makes...

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