Evidence-Based Medicine for College Health:
A Web Site by Robert J. Flaherty, M.D.

Web site review by Carol Mulvihill, RN-C, BSN, Connections Quarterly Editor

The Evidence-Based Medicine web site at http://www.montana.edu/wwwebm/Home.htm was developed by Robert J. Flaherty, MD, Swingle Student Health Service, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717. He is also the Director of the Montana Area Health Education Center.

According to Flaherty, the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford gives the following definition of evidence-based medicine:
"Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients."

Now that makes sense to me, and it seems that EBM has pertinence to any clinical practitioner in primary health care. At first, I thought that evidence-based "medicine" did not necessarily sound like something that would be useful to nurses, but upon investigation of this web site, I have discovered that it is a very important resource for nurses and other clinicians as well.

Flaherty's web site is unique in that it zeros in on 26 of the most common diseases/conditions seen in college health. You'll find topics ranging from Acne to Women's Health, including a section on Alternative/Complimentary Medicine!

The format of information on each topic includes: Etiology, Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Treatment, Monitoring, Prognosis, Prevention, and Patient Education. I have found the most valuable practical information pertinent to nursing care under the Treatment and Patient Education segments. There are links to research articles supporting the information.

This web site could be utilized as a self-teaching educational tool for college health clinicians, to enhance clinical knowledge of common college health problems, or as an orientation for new clinicians. In fact, I am planning to have my part-time nurse review the information on this web site as part of her on-the-job education.

Because of its practical uses for enhancing nursing knowledge of treatment and patient education for common illnesses seen in college health, I gave Dr. Flaherty's Evidence-Based Medicine web site a BOOKMARK on my Netscape browser.

Thank you, Dr. Robert Flaherty, for this useful, practical, research-based health information web site. It is a wonderful contribution to the practice of college health and particularly to clinical practice and patient education.


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