Under the current healthcare system too much time and money is spent on duplicate and unnecessary procedures. Fragmented care is expensive and can lead to unsafe and conflicting treatment. However, when primary care physicians and specialists regularly consult with each other and coordinate treatment plans efficient, effective healthcare is much more likely to result.
More than half of the medical treatments delivered today lack clear evidence that they work, according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM). To remedy the situation, the U.S. Congress, in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, set aside $1.1 billion to jump-start research on which interventions are and are not worthwhile.
One step to improve this situation is to increase reliance on medical evidence. Using proven, standardized procedures improves care and reduces the cost of care.
The Everett Clinic uses evidence-based medicine in all areas of practice. One example: The protocol for treating back pain requires that specific criteria be met before certain imaging tests are ordered. This has resulted in a significant decrease in the number of unnecessary imaging tests.