Evidence-based medicine and stroke.
The practice of evidence-based medicine requires the interpretation and use of best evidence from a variety of potential sources as it may apply to an individual patient. There are three critical steps in the practice of evidence-based medicine. First, high quality data from randomized controlled trials, cohort studies, epidemiological research and other sources must be obtained. These results must then be effectively disseminated to health care providers. Finally, medical professionals must implement appropriate changes in their practices. However, available data suggest that there is a gap between physicians' existing stroke prevention and treatment practices and those supported by the results of clinical trials and other studies. New strategies such as the use of computerized decision support systems are being developed, but their impact on process of care, costs, and patient outcomes must be rigorously evaluated.
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