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What is Evidence-Based Practice?

What is Evidence-Based Practice?

The purpose of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) is to use the best available evidence to make informed patient-care decisions. EBP is the process of collecting, processing, and implementing research findings to improve clinical practice, the work environment, or patient outcomes. EBP uses the best available evidence to make informed patient-care decisions and compares current professional and clinical practices with new research facts and outcomes as they emerge. EBP asks if current interventions are the most effective or the safest for patients and uses the evidence from clinical research as the basis for clinical decision-making. EBP combines best practices from the latest medical literature with clinical experience, and the values and preferences of the patient undergoing treatment. EBP Process graphic


Evidence-Based Practice Steps:

  • Assess the patient problem.
  • Ask a clinical question: Is there a new intervention that is more effective than the one currently used? Ask yourself what works well, what could be improved, and why?  
  • Acquire the current evidence: Conduct a literature search guided by your clinical question.
  • Appraise the evidence: Sort through and critique peer-reviewed literature.
  • Apply your findings to clinical decision-making: Integrate the evidence with clinical expertise and patient preferences and values. Make evidence-based recommendations for day-to-day practice.
  • Evaluate your outcomes: Review data and document your approach. Be sure to include any revisions or changes. Monitor the outcomes of your intervention. Evaluate and summarize the outcome.  

            (Wilson & Austria, 2021)


Wilson, B. &  Austria, M. (2021). What is Evidence-Based Practice? University of Utah Health.

Video Tutorial: Intro to EBP A video tutorial developed by the Duke University Medical Center Library and the Health Sciences Library at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

CC BY NC SA © 2019 Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This is an open-access publication distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike license.

BMJ Best Practice - Evidence-based medicine (EBM) toolkit Fundamentals to learn, practice, and discuss EBM