The Effectiveness of Evidence Based Medicine
Tried and Tested Methods
Undoubtedly there are numerous advantages to the use of evidence based medicine rather than relying on more old-fashioned practices; first and foremost, this concept ensures that only procedures and products that have been proved to be effective are used, whether you are down to get vasectomy reversal or treatment for diabetes. Using tried and tested techniques and medications not only saves time by eliminating those that have not been scientifically proven to produce positive results but also simultaneously facilitates patient recovery by ensuring the most effective solution is offered to each patient as quickly and early as possible.
With reference to patient satisfaction, the patient is also more likely to feel secure in the knowledge that the treatment they are receiving has been categorically proven to be successful, rather than be subjected to a treatment which may well have no effect at all. It is also beneficial for doctors and nurses to be able to refer to scientific evidence when discussing treatment with individual patients, particularly if a patient has the option to choose what kind of treatment they receive.
In terms of efficiency, this system is beneficial on several levels; the use of clinical trials and subsequent appraisal and evaluation of specific procedures and medications allows health professional alongside scientists to determine the most effective solutions to healthcare problems. In turn, this information can then be utilised, by means of Health Technology Assessments (HTA), to determine which treatments, services and medications should be provided by the National Health Service. Once these decisions have been pooled, a universal set of guidelines can be established by organisations such as the BMA and NICE and on a more localised level, Primary Care Organisations and Hospital Trusts are then able to draw-up suitable care pathways and treatment guidelines. A solid code of practice can serve to eliminate ambiguity and can therefore speed up the treatment process.
Effectiveness at an Organisational Level
At an organisational level, the use of evidence based medicine has been proven to increase efficiency considerably. If the same guidelines are being followed by all healthcare professionals, then as a collective, the group is more secure in the roles they are each playing. The use of evidence based medicine as a universal concept also allows comparisons to be made between individual healthcare providers and also between research results and practical results in healthcare organisations; this can facilitate continuous appraisal and therefore ameliorate further healthcare provision. In terms of practical issue such as administration, it is evidently easier to adhere to one universal system rather than be dependent on input from numerous sources.