"Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values.
- By best research evidence we mean clinically relevant research, often from the basic sciences of medicine, but especially from patient centered clinical research into the accuracy and precision of diagnostic tests (including the clinical examination), the power of prognostic markers, and the efficacy and safety of therapeutic, rehabilitative, and preventive regimens. New evidence from clinical research both invalidates previously accepted diagnostic tests and treatments and replaces them with new ones that are more powerful, more accurate, more efficacious, and safer.
- By clinical expertise we mean the ability to use our clinical skills and past experience to rapidly identify each patient's unique health state and diagnosis, their individual risks and benefits of potential interventions, and their personal values and expectations.
- By patient values we mean the unique preferences, concerns and expectations each patient brings to a clinical encounter and which must be integrated into clinical decisions if they are to serve the patient.
When these three elements are integrated, clinicians and patients form a diagnostic and therapeutic alliance which optimizes clinical outcomes and quality of life."
Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine
Evidence-based medicine is the "conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients" (Sackett, DL. BMJ. 1996 Jan 13;312(7023):71-2).