Using clinical evidence

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7285.503 (Published 03 March 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:503

Having the evidence in your hand is just a start—but a good one

  1. Stuart Barton, editor, Clinical Evidence
  1. BMJ Publishing Group, London WC1H 9JR

    Most health carers want to base their practice on evidence and feel that this will improve patient care. 1 2 The original idea that each health professional should himself or herself formulate questions; search, appraise, and summarise the literature; and apply the evidence to patients3 has proved too difficult alongside the competing demands of clinical practice. 1 4 Over 90% of British general practitioners believe that learning evidence handling skills is not a priority,1 and, even when resources are available, doctors rarely search for evidence.5 However, 72% do often use evidence based summaries generated by others,1 which can be accessed by busy clinicians in seconds.6 From this week the NHS will be providing many of its clinicians with one of those sources—Clinical Evidence.

    Clinical Evidence is a compendium of summaries of the best available evidence about what works and what doesn't work in health care. It is designed to be useful in daily practice by answering common and important clinical questions. It is constructed by transparent methods and updated regularly (so earlier issues should …

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