Why is EBP Important?

Evidence-based practice looks at clinical expertise, research evidence, and patients’ needs and values.


A Venn diagram showing that EBP is the intersection of the best scientific evidence, clinical experience, and patient values.
Image from UC Davis Library Evidence-Based Practice Resource Guide

Clinical Expertise

  • Clinical Expertise is the provider’s judgment about what works best in similar patients or in similar situations.
  • Health is complex and there isn’t high-quality research on every topic.
  • Through years of practice, healthcare providers develop clinical expertise that guides patient care decisions.
  • This clinical judgment is essential for applying evidence-based practice.

Best Scientific Evidence

  • The best scientific evidence is the results of the best available scientific studies. It is used to find out which treatments, diagnostic methods, or ways of predicting a patient outcome work best.
  • Scientists carefully design studies to measure how well things such as treatment and diagnostic tests work.
  • Scientific evidence can provide a higher-level view than expert opinions or objective data to help inform healthcare decisions, and is one of the important pieces of evidence-based practice.

Patient’s Needs and Values

  • Patients’ or clients’ needs and values are what is important for the patient or client and what healthcare options best match those values.
  • There are many conditions where patient needs and preferences are important factors in choosing the right treatment or screening option.
    • Cost of care, quality of life, and personal beliefs are all important considerations.
  • Patients should be partners in their care and help decide what type of healthcare is best for them.
  • Evidence-based practice recognizes that patient values are essential in determining care.


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