Evidence-Based Practice 

AANA Puts Evidence to Practice

The AANA recognizes the importance of evidence-based (EB) practice and its role within the larger environments of healthcare and society. The AANA realized the need to establish a systematic evidence-based process to analyze and resolve issues of import to the profession and clinical practice as the body of knowledge affecting nurse anesthesia continued to grow. Based on the work of Sackett et al. (2000), the AANA adopted the definition of evidence-based nurse anesthesia practice as "integration and synthesis of the best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values" in order to optimize the care of patients receiving anesthesia services. 

Key Components of Evidence-based Practice

  • Patient preference/values
  • Clinical expertise
  • Best research evidence

Five Steps of the Evidence-based Process

  1. Ask a clinical question
  2. Obtain the best research literature
  3. Critically appraise the evidence
  4. Integrate the evidence with clinical expertise, patient preferences
  5. Evaluate the outcomes of the decision

As evidence-based practice is increasingly adopted, so are the available resources to assist with putting evidence to practice. Browse the AANA Professional Practice website for information and resources to assist CRNAs and others interested in learning more about evidence-based practice.

Evidence-Based Practice Resources

  • ACP’s PIER: The Physician’s Information & Education Resource provides primary care evidence-based summaries with recommendations assigned evidence grades.
  • The Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) was established in Oxford as the first of several UK centers with the aim of promoting evidence-based health care. The CEBM provides free support and resources to doctors, clinicians, teachers and others interested in learning more about EBM.  
  • Clinical Evidence comprises a database of high-quality, rigorously developed systematic overviews assessing the benefits and harms of treatments, and a suite of evidence-based medicine resources and training materials.
  • The Cochrane Collaboration is an international not-for-profit and independent organization, dedicated to making up-to-date, accurate information about the effects of healthcare readily available worldwide. It produces and disseminates systematic reviews of healthcare interventions and promotes the search for evidence in the form of clinical trials and other studies of interventions. 
  • The DynaMed Evidence-Based Clinical Reference Tool is a clinical reference tool created by physicians for physicians and other health care professionals for use at the point-of-care. It provides summaries for more than 3,200 topics and is used by institutions, educators, clinicians in training, individual clinicians and group practices.  
  • Evidence Based Nursing BMJ is a global medical publisher providing a range of evidence-based medicine products that improve the decisions doctors and patients make on a daily basis.  The publication is peer reviewed and is offered on a quarterly basis.
  • Under the Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPC) Program of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 5-year contracts are awarded to institutions in the United States and Canada to serve as EPCs. The EPCs review all relevant scientific literature on clinical, behavioral, and organization and financing topics to produce evidence reports and technology assessments. These reports are used for informing and developing coverage decisions, quality measures, educational materials and tools, guidelines, and research agendas. The EPCs also conduct research on methodology of systematic reviews.
  • The Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) offers a wide range of clinical practice guidelines.
  • The Joanna Briggs Institute is an International not-for-profit Research and Development Organization specializing in Evidence-Based resources for healthcare professionals in nursing, midwifery, medicine, and allied health. With over 54 centers and groups, servicing over 90 countries, the Joanna Briggs Institute is a recognized global leader in evidence-based healthcare.
  • The University of Virginia Health System provides information and tools on search strategies and mastering an understanding of the types of evidence pyramid.
  • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) provides evidence-based recommendations with a focus on preventative services.

Evidence-Based Practice Modules and Tutorials

  • The Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) offers two evidence-based practice modules to provide an overview of EBP.
  • The American Nurses Association has developed a Research Toolkit to help provide evidence-based care that promotes quality health outcomes for individuals, families, communities and health care systems. The Toolkit can also assist you in shaping health policy at the bedside, within an organization, and at the local, state and national level. 
  • Duke University/University of North Carolina offers an online tutorial for healthcare practitioners and students who require foundational information regarding the principals of evidence-based practice.
  • Online training modules are offered by Evidence-Based Behavioral-Practice (EBBP). Participants receive CE credits upon completion.  Modules include the EBBP process, the Search for Evidence, Systematic Review, Critical Appraisal, Randomized Controlled Trials, Shared Decision-Making with Individual Clients, Collaborative Decision-Making with Communities, Stakeholder Dialogue about Evidence-Based Practice, and Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices.
  • An online Evidence Based Practice Interprofessional Tutorial is accessible that offers guidance on the five-step evidence-based process and how to apply it using case scenarios. This tutorial is beneficial to medical professionals, faculty and students in healthcare fields as well as anyone else interested in learning about the EB process.
  • The University of Minnesota’s Bio-Medical Library offers a variety of evidence-based practice resources, tips and tutorials. Their goal is to provide services that enhance the skills required to conduct research, literature searches and other EB components.

Guidelines and Systematic Reviews

This section offers a good number of resources that provide a multitude of evidence-based guidelines and examples of systematic reviews. The following are nationally recognized and widely-used for researching current government and institutional guidelines and evidence-based research literature.

Research Terms and Definitions

The following resources provide research glossaries on evidence-based practice and qualitative research terms:

​The resources on this page may incorporate or summarize views, guidelines or recommendations of third parties. Such material is assembled and presented in good faith, but does not necessarily reflect the views of the AANA. Links to third-party websites are inserted for informational purposes and do not constitute endorsement of material at those sites, or any associated organization.