3. Why do we need to assess?

The only way we can establish whether patient care has improved through the application of evidence to practice is to measure the effect of the Apply stage.

EBVM is a tool to help us improve our clinical practice. To achieve this goal, we need to assess whether the process is helping us in our clinical decision-making in an effective manner. If a practice policy, diagnostic procedure or treatment strategy has changed as a result of finding (Acquire), appraising (Appraise) and applying (Apply) the evidence, it is important to look at the consequences of this change.

Questions to consider:

  • How has it affected the patients?
  • Did it make any difference?
  • Has the quality of care improved or declined?
  • Are further changes needed?

It is vital to assess what we do in order to ensure our practice is responding and adapting to the advances in the profession.