Utilizing the Latest Best Practices for Better Patient Outcomes

March 18, 2020

Utilizing the Latest Best Practices for Better Patient Outcomes

The amount of time it takes to perform research and clinical trials to putting new best medicines and best practices into use is considered to be called the time from “bench to bedside”. The average time from bench to bedside is 17 years.  

During these years, two major phases occur.  The first phases consist of the conversion of knowledge from basic science research into a potential clinical product/process for testing, while the second phases consist of clinical trials (testing new products and process with patients) and putting new practices and products within a health system.  

There are, however, many delays along the way which contribute to the 17 years average. 

  • Grant awards
  • Ethical approval
  • Clinical trial execution
  • Drug approvals
  • Publication of test results and absorption

Although clinical trials are a lengthy endeavor, you can see from the latest efforts to fight the coronavirus steps can be taken to dramatically shorten the delay.  The first phase of the coronavirus took only a few short months, as it was declared an Emergency. However, there are more than 20,000 clinical trials registered every year at 16 national & regional registries. 

Historically less than half of all the trial results are published, and there is concern about the quality of the trail and the effectiveness of drugs. Companies like Good Pharma Scorecard ranks new drugs on a range of criteria. This includes the quality of the testing during clinical trials.  However, once test results are published, the new best practices are not always put into use.

There are approximately 49 different major specialties in North America (with hundreds of sub-specialties).  If a physician were to just read the publications within their specialty, they would need to on average read 4 publications each week in order to keep up. To effectively put the publication results into practice would require physicians to remember the symptoms, comorbidities and the test group for each of the studies published. They then would need to recall and act on the recommended best practice.  This provides to be a challenging course of action. 

A number of different initiatives could be implemented in order to help the physician’s stay informed.

  1. Governance focused on clinical quality outcomes
  2. Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) Tools
  3. Effectively Leveraging the EHR

Governance should be focused on the health system’s specific performance and their patient population.  By effectively leveraging evidence-based medicine (EBM) tools and utilizing the EHR system, health systems will be able to reach and accomplish their goals. Companies like Elsevier and ProVation can be integrated with EHRs to bring best practices (based on EBM) to the healthcare providers. Coordinating Governance goals and optimizing and configuring the EHR to leverage the latest tools is key.

Earlier in 2020, Epic implemented updates to help screen and identify patients with the coronavirus. While this is an important step in better identifying the patients, workflows must be able to support initiatives and new updates to an EHR.  

Knowing the latest feature and functionality of your EHR, coordinating workflows changes, identifying governance goals, and leveraging EBM are all important factors that need to be addressed.   By leveraging the latest EBM and EHR functionality, our team has the experience and expertise to help configure your system to meet the organizational goals.


Todd Klein, CIO, VP of EHR Services & Digital Solutions