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Milbank Q. Sep 2001; 79(3): 429–457.
PMCID: PMC2751196

Evidence-based Management: From Theory to Practice in Health Care

Abstract

The rise of evidence-based clinical practice in health care has caused some people to start questioning how health care managers and policymakers make decisions, and what role evidence plays in the process. Though managers and policymakers have been quick to encourage clinicians to adopt an evidence-based approach, they have been slower to apply the same ideas to their own practice. Yet, there is evidence that the same problems (of the underuse of effective interventions and the overuse of ineffective ones) are as widespread in health care management as they are in clinical practice. Because there are important differences between the culture, research base, and decision-making processes of clinicians and managers, the ideas of evidence-based practice, while relevant, need to be translated for management rather than simply transferred. The experience of the Center for Health Management Research (CHMR) is used to explore how to bring managers and researchers together and promote the use of evidence in managerial decision-making. However, health care funders, health care organizations, research funders, and academic centers need wider and more concerted action to promote the development of evidence-based managerial practice.

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