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INTRODUCTION

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

  1. What technology resources can improve your EBP efficiency?

  2. What push technology do you use to stay current with research evidence?

  3. How do you combine push and pull technology resources?

  4. How do you organize the articles you read for easy access?

CHAPTER-AT-A-GLANCE

This chapter will help you understand the following:

  1. How technology can support successful evidence based practice (EBP)

  2. The value of and difference between push and pull technology

  3. How to develop your EBP technology profile

  4. Reference management systems that support EBP

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Becoming an evidence based practitioner is an evolving process because you continually expand and deepen your expertise. Part of this expertise includes the use of technology to find information to inform your practice and management of that information for long-term use.

The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the importance of technology for efficient evidence based practice (EBP) in the clinic and to provide a framework to organize and update your technology profile. Clinicians consistently report “lack of time” as the greatest barrier to EBP.1 Information technology was instrumental in the emergence of EBP, it is essential for EBP today, and it will make EBP easier and faster for you in the future. In this chapter, we briefly explore historical ties between technology and EBP, identify two main categories of technology (push and pull), and recommend that every clinician develop an EBP technology profile. This profile includes push and pull technology and a reference management system to make EBP more efficient and practical.

A HISTORY OF TECHNOLOGY AND EBP EFFORTS

The development of EBP has occurred simultaneously with the development of electronic databases that allow clinicians to efficiently access research evidence. Resources for EBP have increased as the Internet and computing power evolve. PubMed was launched by the U.S. National Library of Medicine in 1997, allowing the public to use the Internet to access the MEDLINE database.2 By 2006, searches on PubMed grew to over 3 million per day. By the mid-2000s, clinicians could download software applications to their Internet-enabled phones to search for research evidence. In less than 10 years, research evidence databases like PubMed changed from limited accessibility at desktop computers to a phone that fits in a pocket. As search technology continues to improve, the way we search for research evidence will change as well. Clinicians need to be ready adopters of new information technology as it emerges to support EBP.

DEVELOPING YOUR TECHNOLOGY PROFILE

A technology profile is a select combination of technology resources that a clinician uses to support EBP. By explicitly developing and updating your technology profile, you may reduce the likelihood of becoming overwhelmed by the number of resources available or of overlooking new technologies that would be helpful. We recommend that your profile consist of a balance of push and pull technologies and one ...

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