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Wien Med Wochenschr. 2004;154(5-6):127-32.

Evidence-based medicine breaking the borders--a working model for the European Union to facilitate evidence-based health care.

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Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7590, USA.


The promotion of evidence-based health care to improve quality of care has become an important political agenda worldwide. In April 2003 the European Commission acknowledged the lack of evidence-based health care in the European Union. Nevertheless, neither the new eHealth 2005 Action Plan nor the Public Health Program 2003 explicitly state the facilitation of evidence-based health care as a goal. This article proposes a working model for a network of institutions and databases within the European Union to facilitate evidence-based health care. The model strives to adapt existing U.S. examples of institutions in the field of evidence-based medicine, like Evidence-based Practice Centers, and the National Guideline Clearinghouse to the heterogeneous and legally restrictive environment of the European Union, particularly Article 152 of the European Union Treaty. In addition to increasing efficiency and decreasing redundancy, coordinating national efforts in best practice will also facilitate information sharing and knowledge transfer. The establishment of databases in native languages could also break down one of the main barriers existing between care providers and evidence-based medicine while adhering to the overall concepts of eHealth 2005.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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