David Sackett defined Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) as “the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of the individual patient”. Put in other words, EBM is the integration of three elements at the same time, these are the Clinical Expertise, Best Research Evidence and the Patient's Values as shown in the below diagram. It acknowledges that unsystematic clinical experience and pathological rationale are insufficient grounds for sound clinical decision making.
EBM has been developed to aid the busy clinicians to provide the best health-care for their patients. It requires new skills, including efficient literature searching, and the application of rules of evidence in evaluating the literature.
Medicine was first to adopt the principles of EBM, then other health-care disciplines have followed ex. nursing, mental health, dentistry, cardiology, orthopedics etc… leading to Evidence-Based Health Care (EBHC).
Although the concept of practicing medicine based on sound evidence is not new, it has become more formalized with additional recent refinements that have enabled practitioners to approach medical problems and evaluate medical literature with greater consistency and to deal with massive amounts of medical information, to provide the best patient care.