Friday, September 9, 2022

The 5 As of Evidence-based Practice: Apply & Assess (Part 5)

The Five A’s of Evidence Based Practice:

Apply and Assess

Guest post by Gabriel Merckx, MLIS* 

Welcome to the final article of Ascension Wisconsin Library Services’ series on Evidence Based Medicine! This is the fifth (and final) article in the series. See the whole 5-part series: The 5As of Evidence-based Practice.

You've acquired all your articles.

You’ve appraised the evidence.

Now you can finally apply them! But wait ...

Can the results can actually be applied to the patient?

You may find great articles, great solutions, but they might not truly be the best for the situation at hand. Why?

There are three things that to consider before you apply your understanding to your situation:

  • Economic cost: Sometimes the solution could just be too expensive. Yes, maybe that $1,000,000 new treatment would be better than the current standard of care, but it just isn’t feasible. 

  • Demographic: If the patient is an elderly man and all your papers are on treatments for young women, there’s a possibility that treatment won’t work for him.

  • Patient beliefs: The patient comes first. Even if best evidence says they should get surgery, if it’s not something they want, you won’t be able to do it.

If all of those things are clear (you have enough money for the treatment, the demographics match, and patient beliefs align with this new course of action), then you can apply your findings to practice.


After that, reflect on the process. What was difficult? What would you have done differently? What would be the same? What new questions have come up because of this process?

No matter what, your Ascension Wisconsin Medical Librarians are here to help you!

And remember, our Evidence Based Practice Guide has all the resources on the entire process for you to access at any time.

* Gabriel Merckx was a practicum student at the Mercy Library in the summer of 2019 when he wrote this series.

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