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Acad Emerg Med. 2011 Aug;18(8):797-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2011.01123.x.

Getting the evidence straight in emergency diagnostics.

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Department of Family Medicine Emergency Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


The interpretation and optimal application of the myriad of diagnostic modalities at the emergency physician's (EP's) disposal is a core challenge of clinical practice. Connecting the wealth of scientific literature that informs our understanding of test performance, including elements of the history and the physical examination, is a daunting task. Translating this knowledge into improved patient outcomes requires two fundamentals; the first involves getting the evidence "straight" through systematic approaches that highlight quality work and methods for getting evidence to the point of need. This commentary discusses the potential impact of the first installment in the "evidence-based diagnostics" series of the journal, highlighting how this work complements existing resources of evidence-based medicine. In addition, a vision is presented for how the insight from this series can achieve integration into the clinical and academic mission of emergency medicine.

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