Evidence-Based Practice (or Evidence-Based Medicine) is, "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 et al., 1996)
"Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) isn’t about developing new knowledge or validating existing knowledge. It’s about translating the evidence and applying it to clinical decision-making. The purpose of EBP is to use the best evidence available to make patient-care decisions. Most of the best evidence stems from research. But EBP goes beyond research use and includes clinical expertise as well as patient preferences and values. The use of EBP takes into consideration that sometimes the best evidence is that of opinion leaders and experts, even though no definitive knowledge from research results exists." (Conner, 2014)
The Evidence-Based Practice process has five steps. The process begins with the patient's situation and proceeds to asking an answerable question, finding and getting the evidence, evaluating the evidence and then applying the information to the patient's situation. Lastly, perform a reflective review of the process and consider areas for improvement.