Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM), also referred to as EBP (Evidence-Based Practice), has been all the rage in health care for a very long time. For the uninitiated, perhaps the most commonly accepted definition of EBM is taken from Dr. David Sackett. EBM is "the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of the individual patient. It means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research." (Sackett, 1996). In other words, what health care professionals do, when they do it and how they do it is not based on whim or personal preference. Instead, patient care is based on a critical review of the published results of carefully designed and executed clinical research combined with the unique aspects of an individual patient's medical history. Two of the most "famous" EBM resource databases are Cochrane Systematic Reviews and the Joanna Briggs Institute EBP database. Both of these are subscription databases. Cochrane does provide FREE Internet access to the summaries of its systematic reviews:
Free to access, Cochrane Summaries distill full Cochrane Reviews, providing the key messages from the review of scientific literature on specific topics.
Cochrane isn't the only organization providing open access to evidence-based research, reviews, summaries and practice guidelines. Here are a few more recommended FREELY accessible resources:
ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry
This American Dental Association tool provides evidence-based dentistry resources to help support clinical decision making.
National Guideline Clearinghouse
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) database of clinical practice guidelines. The NGC mission is to provide physicians and other health professionals, health care providers, health plans, integrated delivery systems, purchasers, and others an accessible mechanism for obtaining objective, detailed information on clinical practice guidelines and to further their dissemination, implementation, and use.
PEDro is the Physiotherapy Evidence Database. PEDro is a free database of over 28,000 randomized trials, systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines in physiotherapy.
Here are a few more patient-care focused OA Health Science resources...
Drug Information Portal
The Drug Information Portal provides the public, healthcare professionals, and researchers a gateway to current, accurate and understandable drug information from the National Library of Medicine and other key government agencies.
MedEdPORTAL provides an open exchange of peer-reviewed health education teaching and assessment resources from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
Questions? Do you have any awesome Open Access Health Resources that you'd like to share? Contact your Health Science Librarian, Debra Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org)!