It has been stated that the laboratory assists in 60-70% of all clinical decisions, e.g. admission, discharge and drug therapy. The goal of the laboratory is to provide information that is useful in clinical decision making and to prevent cases where incorrect interpretation leads to poor patient outcomes.
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has been described as the “conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients”. It involves the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values. Evidence-based laboratory medicine (EBLM) focuses on the evaluation and use of laboratory tests to improve patient outcomes. It assists clinical management by integrating the best available research evidence for the use of laboratory investigations with the physician’s clinical expertise and the needs, expectations and concerns of patients. This leads to improved care and outcomes of individual patients and the effective use of healthcare resources. Evidence-based guidelines are developed using the best evidence to develop statements that guide decisions and criteria regarding diagnosis, management, and treatment in specific areas of healthcare.
In this webinar, we will cover the basic concepts of EBLM and the “5A’s” involved in obtaining this evidence. Then we will discuss how guidelines are implemented using the best available evidence. And finally, we will look at evidence to see whether point of care testing confers any advantage in clinical decision making in different scenarios.