Applying evidence in practice: A qualitative case study of the factors affecting residentsg' decisions

Prudence W. Dalrymple, Harold P. Lehmann, Nancy K. Roderer, Michael B. Streiff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patient care based on best available evidence is increasingly viewed as the hallmark of good quality medical diagnosis and treatment, yet its uptake is often slow and uneven and the reasons underlying the slow diffusion of evidence-based guidelines remain elusive. The authors report a qualitative study conducted at a major US teaching hospital which sought to discover the reasons why an evidence-based anticoagulation guideline appeared to be applied irregularly, with problematic results. Using a theoretical framework derived from Rogersg' work on the diffusion of innovation, this article describes the ways in which a group of residents evaluated and applied evidence in the context of caring for their patients. Future work in evidence-based practice can benefit from a greater emphasis on studies that use multi-method, qualitative designs to explore the complex ways in which people interact with information and the changes that ensue from its use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-188
Number of pages12
JournalHealth informatics journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • diffusion of innovation
  • evidence-based practice
  • guideline adherence
  • organizational innovation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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