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Article Type: Blog

Evidence-Based Health Care and Why It Matters to You

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At AdventHealth, the care plans we develop for you are based on hard science, data and the latest research. This approach, known as evidence-based care, drives hundreds of clinical studies and countless pilots. This reliance on scientific evidence is especially important now as doctors and nurses seek the best methods to treat COVID-19. 

A Not So New Idea 

Although the term evidence-based medicine began to be used commonly during the early 1990s, the idea of linking care practices with patient outcomes has been around for more than 150 years. Florence Nightingale, perhaps the world’s best-known nurse, used statistics to identify a connection between poor sanitary conditions in the hospital and rising death rates among wounded soldiers. Her data collection showed that disease, rather than battlefield injuries, was killing soldiers, leading to new standards for hygiene, medical training and facility design in hospitals.  

Modern Uses 

The leap from using intuition and rationalizations to using evidence represents one of the biggest advances in health care. After all, medicine is a science, and science is based on evidence.  

AdventHealth uses evidence-based practices in all day-to-day operations. We strive to provide excellence in patient care through improvement projects and use of data to compare our patient outcomes with other hospitals nationally. For example, we know that our 6.1-day wait time for lung-transplant patients is one-quarter of the national average and that the one-year survival rate exceeds the national average at 91%. 

Research and Innovation 

As leaders in whole-person health care, it’s our responsibility to pave the way to improved patient outcomes by discovering new treatments to heal the body, mind and spirit. That’s why AdventHealth invests in innovations through projects such as the: 

Clinical Trials 

Clinical trials are a mainstay of evidence-based care, showing health care researchers what does and doesn’t work in treating patients in ways that can’t be replicated in a laboratory in animals. The AdventHealth team conducts hundreds of clinical trials each year that give you access to exclusive new treatments that you might not otherwise be able to obtain. Through these studies, we aim to uncover new solutions that benefit you with whole-person treatment, prevention, diagnostic care, screening, quality of life, human tissue, genetics and population health. 

There are currently more than 550 clinical trials underway at AdventHealth, including those at these locations: 

Cancer Research Institute — With more than 175 clinical trials for all types of cancer, we provide access to groundbreaking drugs, alternative therapies and new diagnostic tests.  

Cardiovascular Research Institute — Approximately 30 clinical trials are taking place to offer new hope to patients. This focus on innovation has led to numerous breakthroughs with studies like BEAT HF, which tests a new device implanted to treat advanced heart failure, and the Southpaw trial, which evaluates patients’ ability to exercise after taking the oral drug treprostinil for pulmonary arterial hypertension. 

Pediatric Research Institute — AdventHealth is currently enrolling children in studies related to type 1 and type 2 diabetes, hepatitis B, meningococcal disease and more. 

Evidence-Based Care and COVID-19 

The coronavirus pandemic presents an enormous threat to public health, but the urgent need for treatments must be balanced against the need for evidence. AdventHealth clinicians worked together early in the pandemic to create comprehensive COVID-19 guidelines that are used and regularly updated by the more than 4,000 members of our medical staff. The clinical guidelines, described in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), are just one part of a comprehensive approach to the pandemic that also includes a focus on ethics, science, analytics, communication, education and more. 

Testing COVID-19 Treatments 

One way that AdventHealth physicians are using this comprehensive, evidence-based approach is by repurposing existing drugs — remdesivir and sarilumab — to treat the most seriously ill COVID-19 patients. The drugs were originally developed to treat the Ebola virus and rheumatoid arthritis and are now being studied to help shorten recovery time for hospitalized COVID-19 patients.  

AdventHealth has also launched a program to collect plasma from patients who’ve recovered from COVID-19 to help those still struggling with the disease. In addition, the science and innovation team at AdventHealth has reviewed the scientific validity of and made recommendations on other important COVID-19 topics including: 

  • 3D printing of surgical masks 

  • Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin combination to treat COVID-19 

  • Hydroxychloroquine for the prevention of COVID-19 

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) standards to prevent COVID-19 transmission  

  • Manipulating temperature and humidity levels to decrease risk of transmission of COVID-19 

  • Use of ultraviolet light to decontaminate N95 respirator masks 

Patients Are the Priority 

While clinical research is vital, we never forget that you are at the center of evidence-based care. Your values, preferences and life circumstances are important in evaluating evidence and making the best treatment decisions. Part of putting you first includes a keen focus on the patient experience, exemplified in a new virtual family visit system to keep patients connected with loved ones despite COVID-19 precautions that limit the number of visitors in hospitals. 

Dedicated to the Highest Level of Care 

We’re committed to providing the most comprehensive care for our patients. For relevant and trustworthy information on the latest developments on coronavirus, visit the AdventHealth Coronavirus Resource Hub where you’ll find FAQs, blogs about keeping your family safe, videos with our physicians and more. 

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