Implications for the Future
Studies indicate that education related to evidence based medicine in universities has equipped medical professionals with increased knowledge and additional skills. Now that this form of education has been made a compulsory element in most university courses, the efficiency of applying evidence based medicine in healthcare environments should improve as an increasing proportion of the workforce are familiar with the key concepts.
Initial studies have suggested that the long-term benefits of using this system are numerous, not only in terms of keeping costs down but also and more importantly, in improving patient care when it comes to things like treatment for cancer and even cosmetic treatment like laser hair removal. Increasing the speed and accessibility of healthcare provision will also shorten waiting lists and enable more people to be treated. With results so positive it seems certain that this approach will be continued in healthcare organisations in the foreseeable future.
As professionals become accustomed to the system of evidence based medicine problems will increasingly be ironed out and skills to interpret and effectively utilise data and research will be honed. This acquisition of new skills will subsequently further improve efficiency in terms of reducing costs and improving patient care.
Persuading the Public
Perhaps the biggest challenge facing the concept of evidence based medicine is that of convincing the population that it is to right path to follow. In the consumer-driven society we now live in, people are increasingly influenced by the media which tends to focus on the negative stories rather than the positive, creating a rather biased and distorted view. If the NHS can prove to the media by means of figures demonstrating increased patient care and satisfaction this can, in turn, be passed on to the public.