A pioneer of evidence-based practice defines it as . . .
"the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of the individual patient. It means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research." (Sackett D, 1996)¹
The Institute of Medicine (IOM), a division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, at the request of the U.S. Congress in 2008, was asked to undertake a study on the best methods for the development of trustworthy clinical practice guidelines. These methods would address the structure, process, reporting, and final products of systematic reviews of comparative effectiveness research and evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.
In 2010, in anticipation of these changes, a sub-group of the AOA Quality Improvement Committee was asked to investigate and initiate an evidence-based guideline development pilot project. Due to the importance and magnitude of this work, the AOA Board of Trustees appointed Evidence-Based Optometry (EBO) as a stand-alone committee in 2012.
The EBO Committee has worked diligently to create an evidence-based process that aligns with the NAM standards and keeps optometrists in the forefront of evidence-based practice.
DAVID L. SACKETT, MD, MSC PROFESSOR EMERITUS, CLINICAL EPIDEMIOLOGY & BIOSTATISTICS, MCMASTER UNIVERSITY