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ERIC Number: EJ925714
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-1522-8959
The Technology of Evidence-Based Practice: Tools for Navigating the Health Sciences Literature
Townsend, Whitney
Public Services Quarterly, v7 n1-2 p76-86 2011
Medical and health sciences libraries have incorporated the elements of evidence-based practice (EBP) into their reference services, instruction, and online resource development for years. While EBP focuses on the use of medical and health sciences literature in the clinical environment (i.e., making decisions about how to treat a particular patient), it provides a useful framework for organizing the vast amount of information available from article databases, ebooks, online reference tools, and other online resources. The EBP information-seeking and decision-making cycle is characterized by five distinct steps: (1) assess the patient; (2) ask the question; (3) acquire the evidence; (4) appraise the evidence; and (5) apply (talk with the patient). Selecting the appropriate resource, conducting an effective search, and then critically appraising the literature retrieved often proves to be a daunting task for patrons at all levels of information literacy. The overwhelming volume of information can be much more easily targeted, searched, and understood by applying the basic tenets of evidence-based practice and the 5S (Studies, Syntheses, Synopses, Summaries, and Systems) pyramid. The 5S information pyramid, created by Dr. R. B. Haynes (Haynes, 2006) and widely utilized in health sciences education and practice worldwide, focuses on organizing the vast amount of medical and health sciences literature into a hierarchical framework of resources and information types based on their respective "levels of evidence" (level of preappraisal). At each level of the pyramid, new technologies and online tools are being created and tested in order to make information access more efficient and seamless for the end user. The author presents a breakdown of each level from a health sciences construct and provides details of the unique resource features and evolving technologies that help users get to the information that they need with speed and accuracy. (Contains 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Media Staff
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A