Although many definitions of evidence-based practice are available, the most frequently quoted and widely used is David Sackett’s definition of evidence-based medicine (1996).
Since then many professions have embraced the advantages of an evidence-based approach to practice and learning. Therefore the concept of evidence-based medicine was broadened in 2005 to ‘evidence-based practice‘ to emphasize the fact that evidence-based practitioners may share more attitudes in common with other evidence-based than with non evidence-based colleagues from their own profession who do not embrace the evidence-based paradigm.
The following definition is partly adapted from the Sicily statement of evidence-based practice. This definition does not only provide a clear statement of what evidence-based management means, but also describes the minimum skill set required to practice in an evidence-based way.
“Evidence-based management is about making decisions through the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of the best available evidence from multiple sources by ….
Asking: Translating a practical issue or problem into an answerable question
Acquiring: Systematically searching and retrieving the evidence
Appraising: Critically judging the trustworthiness and relevance of the evidence
Aggregating: Weighing and and pulling together the evidence
Applying: Incorporating the evidence in the decision-making process
Assessing: Evaluating the outcome of the decision taken
… to increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.”