Effective care is a term used in the healthcare industry to describe healthcare strategies that have proven to be helpful for most patients with a certain condition most of the time.
Best practice is a term from the business world that is a similar to "Effective Care."
"Best Practice: A method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark."
The website (1.bestpractices.org) shares examples of a few corporations who have successfully established business practices that support the environment and reuse or reduce the company's use of natural resources while maintaining a profitable business.
Learning from the experience and reliable research of others can help save time and lives and can be more cost effective than paying for the research for yourself or having to learn first hand during an accident or emergency.
Recognizing that a risk may exist is necessary before you can realistically plan ahead and prevent it from happening or to be better protected from it. Experts are worth listening to because they have made many mistakes or at least tried a lot of strategies on their way to becoming expert in an industry. The beginner in any industry is likely to feel more confidence than an expert because the beginner is likely unaware of all the things that can go wrong while the expert may have experienced some mistakes first hand and heard about others from colleagues.
Recognizing that a risk exists allows strategies to be developed to better cope with the risk or to help prevent the risk from occurring. Better tools can be designed and better checklists of which tools or equipment to bring along can be prepared by experts who have been out in the field and seen just what can go wrong and what generally works best.
There are also best practices in research and in the use of statistical analysis of results. Math can be used to increase apparent significance of results and the results may not be able to be repeated by future studies or when the experimental procedure or treatment is attempted to be used in real world applications either in the business world or in medical practice with the treatment of patients.
See the page on Effective Research for more resources and information.
Health care strategies that have consistently been shown to be effective by many clinical research studies may also become benchmarks that may be used as a comparison for the effectiveness of new research results. Unfortunately however best practices in the medical world don't always make it to the patient for their individual care and the reason is not cost - lack of profit might be more of the problem.
Research regarding the use of effective care practices in the medical industry has found that more health spending is correlated with less use of the most effective care strategies. The problem may be associated with too many physicians and too many specialists being involved without adequate coordination between the group as a whole team. This may lead to recommendations or prescriptions being given by one specialist that may interact poorly with a prescription or treatment being given by another specialist, and an underlying problem may have been missed by both specialists because it wasn't within either of their areas of focus - a third specialist may have been needed. (1.dartmouthatlas.org).
Effective health care guidance regarding our need for clean air and the negative effects humans were having on the environment were noted as long ago as 1745 when John Armstrong published The Art of Preserving Health, a poetic essay on health. (1.14) Some of the health tips he includes in it are to avoid the "turbid" city air and avoiding closed, stuffy space by having “lofty” ceilings in order to have better air quality within the home:
YE who amid this feverish world would wear
A body free of pain, of cares a mind; (line 65)
Fly the rank city, shun its turbid air;
Breathe not the chaos of eternal smoke.
Let lofty cielings grace your ample rooms;
And still at azure noontide may your dome
At every window drink the liquid sky. (line 322) (1.14)
Air pollution standards have improved since 1745, thanks to effective health care research and best practices of industry.
See the section 3. Patient Advocacy for more information about care coordination.
Returning to the topic of effective care as a benchmark or standard of comparison for other research, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has an agency dedicated to reviewing medical research and summarizing results by levels of proven effectiveness.
The HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Effective Health Care Program website, (1.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov), provides research summaries for consumers, clinicians and policymakers on medical topics or conditions that have already been reviewed and rated by the agency. (1.10) Comments can be submitted on topics under review by any concerned individual or organization and the information would be considered prior to the final rating or summary being published.
An evaluation rating scale is provided at the end of the US HHS, AHRQ Effective Health Care Program report. The categories they use for the Strength of Evidence Scale include:
See the page on Effective Research for more information about research standards.
Links and Reference footnotes for
Chapter 1: About Effective Care.