Evidence-Based Practice Resources

by Amy Studer, Bruce Abbott – August 9, 2020

image of evidence based practice venn diagramThis guide provides an overview of evidence-based practice (EBP) resources, including:

  • resources for learning about EBP
  • clinical point-of-care tools
  • practice guidelines
  • systematic reviews
  • literature databases
  • background sources

Here’s a tip sheet that can help you get started.

Library VPN (Pulse Secure) is required to access library-licensed resources while off-campus or using guest wifi.

Amy Studer

Blaisdell Medical Library
Health Sciences Librarian



In this Guide:

image of EBP cycle

Websites, tutorials, and tools

E-books from UC Davis Library



The Clinical Resources Center (CRC) is the website portal to information resources for clinicians at UC Davis Health, including point of care tools, decision support, drug and nutrition information. The CRC also provides webpages of customized content for first and third year medical students. A collaboration of the UC Davis Center for Health Technology and the UC Davis Library, it is hosted by the UC Davis School of Medicine.  Access from off-campus requires login with Pulse Secure.
UpToDate is a point-of-care clinical medicine database, providing coverage of over 8500 topics in 17 medical specialties. UpToDate integrates drug information (Lexi-Comp) and clinical images (Visual Dx). Includes medical calculators.
Coverage: Continuously updated
Tags: Evidence-Based Practice, Medicine
IBM Micromedex (formerly MicroMedex Health) enables searching across a suite of drug information databases, covering drug administration, adverse effects, clinical applications, contraindications, dosage, indications, interactions, over-dosage, pharmacology, precautions, product/substance identification, toxicity, references, synonyms, and uses. Databases include: NeoFax, Physicians Desk Reference (PDR), Martindale International drug information - including investigational and herbal drugs, POISINDEX, and DRUGDEX (Consults and Evaluations), P&T Quik Reports, MSDS from USP, REPRORISK, DESEASEDEX (General and Emergency), Alternative Medicines, TOMES, RED BOOK (wholesale drug prices), CARE NOTES (patient handouts) and calculators. Four mobile apps are available: IBM Micromedex Drug Ref, IBM Micromedex Drug Int, IBM Micromedex IV Comp, and IBM Micromedex NeoFax.
Essential Evidence Plus offers a system of filtered, synopsized, evidence-based information, with an integrated search engine that enables simultaneous keyword search in multiple databases: Essential Evidence Topics, EBM Guidelines, POEMs Research Summaries, Cochrane Systematic Reviews, Practice Guidelines, Decision Support Tools, H&P Calculators, Diagnostic Test Calculators, Derm Expert Image Viewer, and Medicare's Evaluation & Management Services Coding. EE+ is hosted on a mobile-optimized website. See User Guide for instructions about how to set up remote access on mobile devices.
VisualDx is a web-based clinical decision support system proven to enhance diagnostic accuracy, aid therapeutic decisions, and improve patient safety and is based on images of the physical exam. It includes the Differential Builder, which provides a symptom-based approach to diagnosis.
Natural Medicines provides clinical, evidence-based information on dietary supplements, natural medicines, and complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies. 
TDS Health hosts the STAT!Ref library of selected health sciences online reference books and dictionaries, point-of care-tools (e.g., EBMcalc), and consumer health resources. Other features include consumer health resources and patient handouts, medical ICD-10 coding resources, public health content, and medical news feeds. A mobile app is available -- requires creating a free individual account.

Identifying practice guidelines on a topic can often be a challenge — here are some tips.

Best places to look:

  • PubMed: Filter by “practice guideline” article type
  • UpToDate: topics often include “society guidelines”
  • Essential Evidence Plus: Topic “Evidence” tabs often include guidelines
  • TRIP Medical Database: Apply guidelines filter, by country
  • Selected government or professional organization websites (e.g., CDC, USPSTF, AAFP, ACP)
  • Google search example: general topic + guideline + (site:.gov OR site:.org)

To discover practice guidelines, consider using more general search terms (rather than using a focused search strategy such as PICO). Practice guidelines frequently cover broader topics, with guidance about specific aspects of the broader topic included within.

Resources about clinical practice guidelines, including worksheets for evaluation quality:

ECRI Guidelines Trust [Free]

Users must first register for a free personal account to access ECRI Guidelines Trust content from the ECRI Institute website. The ECRI Guidelines Trust provides free access to a subset of information that is available from ECRI Institute.

“ECRI Guidelines Trust TM is a publicly available web-based repository of objective, evidence-based clinical practice guideline content. Its purpose is to provide physicians, nurses, other clinical specialties, and members of the healthcare community with up-to-date clinical practices to advance safe and effective patient care. This centralized repository includes evidence-based guidance developed by nationally and internationally recognized medical organizations and medical specialty societies.” In addition to clinical practice guidelines, content includes Guideline Briefs and TRUST Scorecards. Source: About ECRI Guidelines Trust

AHRQ Evidence-Based Reports & Technical Assessments [Free]

Provides complete titles of released evidence reports, comparative effectiveness reviews, technical briefs, Technology Assessment Program reports, and U.S. Preventive Services Task Force evidence syntheses. These reports may be used for informing and developing coverage decisions, quality measures, educational materials and tools, clinical practice guidelines, and research agendas.

TRIP Database Pro

TRIP Database (Turning Research Into Practice) is a clinical search engine designed to allow users to quickly and easily find and use high-quality research evidence to support their practice and/or care. Categories searched by the TRIP Database include: evidence based synopses; systematic reviews; guidelines (US & UK); fore primary research; and patient information.

What is a systematic review?

Institute of Medicine (2011): “A scientific investigation that focuses on a specific question and uses explicit, planned scientific methods to identify, select, assess, and summarize the findings of similar but separate studies. It may or may not include a quantitative synthesis of the results from separate studies (meta-analysis).”

Cochrane: “A systematic review summarises the results of available carefully designed healthcare studies (controlled trials) and provides a high level of evidence on the effectiveness of healthcare interventions. Judgments may be made about the evidence and inform recommendations for healthcare.”

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews is an important resources for high quality systematic reviews in health care, including all reviews and protocols prepared by Cochrane Review Groups. Each Cochrane Review is a peer-reviewed systematic review that has been prepared and supervised by a Cochrane Review Group (editorial team), and prepared according to the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions or Cochrane Handbook for Diagnostic Test Accuracy Reviews.

Cochrane Systematic Reviews are also discoverable in PubMed, Essential Evidence Plus, and TRIP Pro.

Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Evidence Based Practice Database

The Joanna Briggs Institute, an international not-for-profit research and development organization, develops evidence for nursing, allied health, and medical professionals, as well as healthcare consumers. Systematic reviews in JBI EBP Database complement those found in the Cochrane Library. Includes: Evidence Summaries — Literature reviews that summarize existing international literature on common healthcare interventions and activities; Evidence-Based Recommended Practices — Database of procedures that describe and/or recommend practice on various clinical topics; Best Practice Information Sheets — Series of information guideline sheets produced specifically for practicing health professionals; Systematic Reviews — Comprehensive systematic reviews of international research literature completed by trained JBI reviewers; Consumer Information Sheets — Standardized summaries designed just for consumers of healthcare (patients, clients, and care providers); Systematic Review Protocols — Developed by the Collaborating Centers of JBI, which are made up of international experts from over 40 countries from a range of health disciplines; and, Technical Reports — Documentation of all aspects of the development of Best Practice Information Sheets.

PubMed Clinical Queries (Systematic Reviews) [Free]

Accessible from the PubMed homepage, Clinical Queries utilizes search filters designed to retrieve systematic reviews, meta-analyses, practice guidelines, clinical trials, and human medical genetics-related articles.  Clinical trials results can be customized based on PICO search categories: etiology, diagnosis, therapy, prognosis, and clinical prediction guides.

TRIP Database Pro

TRIP Database (Turning Research Into Practice) is a clinical search engine designed to allow users to quickly and easily find and use high-quality research evidence to support their practice and/or care. Categories searched by the TRIP Database include: evidence based synopses; systematic reviews; guidelines (US & UK); fore primary research; and patient information.

More health science discipline-specific systematic review databases

The “Locating Systematic Reviews” section of this library guide will direct you to systematic review databases for various health science disciplines, such as: Campbell Collaboration, DARE, DoPHER, EPPI-Centre, OTseeker, PEDro, PsycBITE, SpeechBite, VetSRev.

PubMed comprises more than 30 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books.
CINAHL Complete provides coverage of journal literature related to nursing, speech and allied health.
Coverage: 1937-present
Tags: Allied Health, Forensics, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy
Related links: CINAHL Tutorials
PsycINFO is published by the American Psychological Associations and provides comprehensive indexing and abstracts of the international psychological literature from the 1800s to the present. Documents indexed include journals, articles, books, dissertations and more. 90% of the 3,000+ titles indexed in PsycINFO are peer-reviewed.
Coverage: 1840-present
Tags: Medicine, Nursing, Psychiatry, Psychology
Large interdisciplinary abstract and citation database to academic journal literature, conference proceedings and books with broad coverage across the sciences and social sciences, includes citation tracking tools.
Coverage: full coverage from 1996-present, with selected coverage as far back as 1823
Tags: Art, Biology, Humanities, Multidisciplinary, Science, Social Science
Related links:


Embase provides essential biomedical evidence from evidence-based content, along with deep biomedical indexing and search forms to assist in building search strategies.
Coverage: 1974-current (for EMBASE records); 1966-current (for MEDLINE records)
Tags: Allied Health, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacology, Pharmacy, Public Health
The Ovid interface to MEDLINE. Citations and abstracts for articles published in approximately 8,400 journals in medicine, life sciences, health administration, veterinary medicine, nursing, molecular biology and genetics.
Scholarly journals, books, and proceedings in the sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities. Navigate the full citation network.

Background resources provide an overview of a disease or condition, including what is generally known and accepted.  Common examples include textbooks or peer-reviewed review articles on a topic.  It is important to note the publication date and currency of references.

PubMed (Review article filter)

Filter PubMed search results by “review” article in left pre-set filters.

Access Medicine

AccessMedicine is an online platform for a collection of core medical eBooks and test preparation resources from McGraw Hill.

UC Davis Health Science Library Electronic Texts (select)

This guide offers a selected list of health sciences eBooks available through UC Davis Library.

Library Search

Library Search is the new UC Davis Library catalog search tool.

50 Studies Every Doctor Should Know, Revised Edition: The Key Studies that Form the Foundation of Evidence Based Medicine  

This online resource presents key studies that have shaped the practice of medicine. Selected using a rigorous methodology, it covers topics including dieting, cardiovascular disease, insomnia, obstetrics, and more. For each study, a concise summary is presented with an emphasis on the results and limitations of the study, and its implications for practice. Brief information on other relevant studies is provided, and an illustrative clinical case concludes each review. A section of review questions and answers is included to ensure that readers take away the key messages from each study.

LWW Health Library

LWW Health Library provides access to a collection of core medical textbooks that are highly relevant to physician assistant, advanced practice nursing, and medical students (e.g., Bates’ Guide to Physical Examination & History Taking)