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Evidence-Based Practice: Home

This guide is designed to assist health care professionals to become effective and efficient users of the medical and nursing literature.

Using this Guide

This guide gathers together information on Evidence-Based Practice.  Included in this guide is information on:

  • Introduction to EBP for the Busy Nurse Practitioner in 6 Steps
  • ASK: Constructing well-built clinical questions with PICO
  • Levels of Evidence and Study Designs
  • Searching for The Evidence:  Evidence sources listed by the type of evidence retrieved [Pyramid Tab]
  • Getting to the Fulltext
  • Critical Appraisal
  • Disseminate

View the complete EBP Guide.

EBP Tools, Templates and Worksheets

  • EBP Rapid Review Workbench (.xls Spreadsheet)
    • Template for documenting the work of rapid reviews with tabs for PICO / Search Terms, Databases searches, Summary Table, Synthesis table.  Created by Aida Smith ( Used by permission.

Need Assistance? We are happy to help! Please contact Your Librarian :

Michele Matucheski, MLIS, AHIP
Medical Librarian - Ascension Wisconsin
Phone  (920) 223-0340

Available Monday - Friday


The 5 "A's" will help you to remember the EBP process:

  1. ASK:  Information needs from practice are converted into focused, structured questions.
  2. ACCESS / ACQUIRE:  The focused questions are used as a basis for literature searching in order to identify relevant external  evidence from research.
  3. APPRAISE:  The research evidence is critically appraised for validity.
  4. APPLY: The best available evidence is used alongside clinical expertise and the patient's perspective to plan care.
  5. ASSESS / AUDIT:  Performance is evaluated through a process of self reflection, audit, or peer assessment.

Please note, there are several models for EBP with various named and numbered steps.  This guide will detail the first three steps ASK, ACCESS/ACQUIRE, APPRAISE.  Some models include a 6th step for DISSEMINATE.

* This box and graphic was created by Diane Giebink-Skoglind of ThedaCare. Used by permission.  The graphic is adapted from Melnyk, BM & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2011). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: A guide to best pracatice. (2nd ed.)  Philadephia: Wolters-Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

EBM Explained

What is Evidence-based Medicine?

Image source:

The most commonly used definition for EBM is that

"Evidence-based medicine is the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. The practice of evidence-based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research."

Provided by David Sackett et al in the 1996 article, " Evidence-Based Medicine: What it is and what it isn't" for BMJFull text here

PICO Search