Definition: Applying the best available research results (evidence) when making decisions about health care. Health care professionals who perform evidence-based practice use research evidence along with clinical expertise and patient preferences. Systematic reviews (summaries of health care research results) provide information that aids in the process of evidence-based practice.
Example: For example, a health care provider recommends acetaminophen to treat arthritis pain in a patient who has recently had stomach bleeding. The health care provider makes this recommendation because research shows that acetaminophen is associated with less risk for stomach bleeds than other common pain relievers. The health care provider's recommendation is an example of evidenced-based practice.
US Department of Health and Human Services:
University of Washington's Pyramid of Evidence-Based Practice Tools