One Challenge with Evidence Based Medicine

Posted on June 8, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’ve often wondered how medical professionals work through all of the different studies which seemingly say the opposite thing. This chart below illustrated the challenge perfectly:

The key question is, “What happens when the evidence says 2 things?

I’ll be interested to hear some doctors perspectives on it. My guess is that when you start to dig into the details of each of these studies and don’t just read the sensationalized headlines that you probably see a lot more consistency than what is represented in the chart above.

I know I’ve seen that when it comes to studies on EHR software. One study will say that an EHR is inefficient and the next study will save millions of dollars for the institution and make them more efficient. Once you get past the headlines of the studies you usually find that the studies don’t conflict. Instead the studies were looking at very specific situations and parameters. So, it’s really important to look past the headlines and know what the study is really saying.

The question I have for doctors is when do they have time to do all of this research to reconcile the differences? They tell me they’re too busy clicking check boxes.