Implementing Evidence-Based Medicine: Lessons From Public Mental Health Settings

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Evidence-based medicine, the incorporation of the best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values, helps to ensure that patients receive the latest and most effective treatment. Once evidence has shown which treatments are most effective, dissemination of this information and implementation of these treatments by individual clinicians and clinics becomes the goal. Public health entities and officials have created various modes of implementing evidence-based medicine, including practice guidelines, treatment algorithms, evidence-based practices, changing the delivery system (or policy change), and guideline congruence review. In this E-View, these modes of implementation are reviewed, and their advantages and limitations are discussed. Examples of changing the delivery system and using guideline congruence review to implement evidence-based medicine in mental health settings are detailed.

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J Clin Psychiatry 2007;68(6):e16