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Can evidence-based medicine and clinical quality improvement learn from each other?
  1. Paul Glasziou1,
  2. Greg Ogrinc2,
  3. Steve Goodman3
  1. 1Centre for Research into Evidence-Based Practice, Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2Community and Family Medicine and Medicine, White River Junction VA Medical Center, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
  3. 3Oncology, Pediatrics, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Paul Glasziou, Centre for Research into Evidence-Based Practice, Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University, Gold Coast, Queensland 4229, Australia; pglaszio{at}


The considerable gap between what we know from research and what is done in clinical practice is well known. Proposed responses include the Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) and Clinical Quality Improvement. EBM has focused more on ‘doing the right things’—based on external research evidence—whereas Quality Improvement (QI) has focused more on ‘doing things right’—based on local processes. However, these are complementary and in combination direct us how to ‘do the right things right’. This article examines the differences and similarities in the two approaches and proposes that by integrating the bedside application, the methodological development and the training of these complementary disciplines both would gain.

  • Quality improvement
  • evidence-based medicine

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: and

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  • Funding This material is based on support and use of facilities at the White River Junction VA from the VA National Quality Scholars Program; Dr Glasziou is supported by an NHMRC Fellowship.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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