Background: there is a large evidence-to-practice gap. Research shows ~2/3 of guideline recommendations are not adhered to in practice (Mickan, Burls, Glasziou 2011). When a hospital service was reorganized, by clinicians trained in evidence-based practice (EBP), it was associated with 28% drop in mortality, a two-day reduction in length of stay, no increase in readmissions, and doctors attended twice as many patients (Emparanza, Cabello, Burls 2015). Implementation research suggests common barriers to EBP are lack of easy access to evidence, lack of EBP skills and lack of time.
BestEvidence is a mobile app designed to overcome these barriers by providing easy and fast access to evidence at the point of need. It was released as a web-based mobile app (www.BestEvidence.Info) and is being ported to native IOS and Android.
New functionality, such as digital critical appraisal checklists, has been developed and will be deployed shortly. The project supports Cochrane's policy of building capacity and engagement in knowledge translation and a partnership has been formed between Cochrane, City University, CASP UK, CASP Spain and B13 to take forward the development of the app and related products that can be marketed to produce revenue to ensure ongoing innovation and the ability to maintain the BestEvidence basic app free to users.
Objectives: to improve patient outcomes and health service efficiency and reduce health and information inequalities by making high-quality evidence easy to get whenever it is needed and promoting the skills and understanding required for EBP.
Methods: this is a mixed-methods project. It uses: AGILE methods for the technology development; qualitative methods to obtain users' perspective on the app and the priorities for development; and, both qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate the app's usability, uptake, use and impact.
Results: in 2018 a soft-launch on one small mailing list spread awareness of the app and the registered users grew organically without further active promotion to over 4000 in 120 countries with tens of thousands of questions addressed. Feedback from these users has helped inform recent and impending new developments of BestEvidence and these will be deployed before, and reported on at, the Colloquium
Conclusions: we believe that BestEvidence has great potential for bridging the knowledge-to-practice gap but further evaluation is needed. We invite participants at the Colloquium, who would like to participate in this evaluation in their own countries and/or specialties, or influence BestEvidence's design and development, to contact us to explore this further.
Patient or healthcare consumer involvement: there are 91 users of the app who describe themselves as "lay member of the public" and 210 users who describe themselves as "Other" (that is, people who are not clinicians or involved in health service delivery, health management, policy or research, or information scientists).