Evidence-based practice is an approach to health care wherein health practitioners use the best evidence possible, i.e., the most appropriate information available, to make decisions for individuals, groups and populations.
Evidence-based practice values, enhances and builds on clinical expertise, knowledge of disease mechanisms, and pathophysiology. It involves complex and conscientious decision making based not only on the available evidence but also on client characteristics, situations, and preferences. It recognizes that health care is individualized and ever changing and involves uncertainties and probabilities.
Evidence-based practice incorporates successful strategies that improve client outcomes and derived from various sources of evidence including research, national guidelines, policies, consensus statements, systematic analysis of clinical experience, quality improvement data, specialized knowledge and skills of experts.
Why is evidence-based practice important?
In order for dietitians to remain competitive within the health care, education and business arenas, they must incorporate evidence-based practice into their day-to-day activities and decisions. Evidence-based practice enhances credibility with other healthcare team members and will help dietitians be more effective and efficient in their practice.