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Evidence-based Medicine

Improving healthcare outcomes through EBM

Evidence-based medicine (EBM) can fundamentally transform healthcare, leading to a more personalized paradigm of care that preserves innovation while addressing waste in the healthcare system.

By Brett J. Davis M

uch of the dialogue around personalized healthcare, comparative effectiveness research and evidence-based medicine (EBM) has focused on the cost of the

scientifi c and biotechnology breakthroughs we have wit- nessed in recent years, as well as the ethical, regulatory and reimbursement changes required in supporting this new model of care. This time last year, the media, Washington and the healthcare community were focused on the importance of EBM and its role in transforming the delivery of U.S. healthcare. Today, it’s easy to lose focus on the importance of EBM to the transformation of healthcare as topics such as sorting out mean- ingful-use requirements for electronic health-record (EHR) systems take center stage. However, EBM is fundamen- tal to national efforts to improve healthcare outcomes and reduce costs. While EHRs are a vital

Brett J. Davis

component of healthcare reform and are foundational to EBM, we cannot afford to divert our attention from the other requirements needed to make EBM a reality in the United States. This transformation is only pos- sible through the synergy of healthcare information tech- nology (HIT) with scientifi c

Brett J. Davis is senior director, personalized healthcare, Oracle Health Sciences. For more information on Oracle solutions:

breakthroughs in the molecular understanding of disease, novel therapeutics and diagnostics, as well as a fundamen- tal redesign of our healthcare delivery models.

Important policy progress We have taken several important steps on the EBM

24 October 2010

Research Institute. Funding for the center could reach $500 million by 2013, according to an estimate from the Brookings Institution. Perhaps more importantly, we have begun to lay the IT foundation required to support EBM. The ability to gather timely, accurate and comprehensive patient, clini- cal, claims and outcome data is fundamental to compara- tive effectiveness research (CER) and ultimately EBM. This initiative got a boost via $17 billion in ARRA fund- ing to promote deployment of EHRs and other health information technologies that form the foundation for EBM initiatives.

Laying the right information infrastructure Despite this national recognition of the importance of


journey in the last two years. One of the most signifi cant has been public policy and funding to support EBM ini- tiatives. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 authorized approximately $1.1 billion in funding for comparative effectiveness research, a key enabler of EBM. In addition, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the health reform bill signed into law by President Obama this spring, establishes a private, non-profi t entity called the Patient-Centered Outcomes

The past two years have seen signifi cant advances toward adoption of EBM initiatives, fueled largely by public funding. From here, a steadfast commitment to consumer education and IT transformation are the keys to progressing on our nation’s healthcare journey.

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