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ANZ J Surg. 2008 Jun;78(6):437-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-2197.2008.04530.x.

Commentary: how surgical audits can be used to promote the update of surgical evidence.

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Division of Research and Audit, ASERNIP-S, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.


Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is an important advance in health care. The Australian Safety and Efficacy Register of New Interventional Procedures - Surgical (ASERNIP-S), the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, has been at the forefront of promoting EBM in surgery by developing systematic reviews and managing surgical audits. In EBM, uptake of evidence is just as important as establishing the evidence. The prospective, long-term data collection of surgical audits on treatment processes and outcomes often have a high patient and surgeon coverage and make them extremely valuable as a tool for assessing the uptake of evidence. Surgical audits can be used: (i) to assess practice trends and the impact of systematic reviews or clinical guidelines on treatment practice, (ii) to identify the disparities in the uptake of evidence, and (iii) to promote further research on how to bridge evidence-practice gaps and to overcoming possible barriers for the evidence uptake. The information gathered through the audit data assessment on evidence-uptake can be used to improve evidence dissemination and identify possible barriers to the uptake of evidence.

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