Integrating research and evidence-based guidance into prescribing practice

The College of Paramedics and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society are clear that they require advanced paramedics, as non-medical prescribers, to review and critically appraise the evidence base underpinning their prescribing practice. Evidence-based clinical guidance such as that published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is recommended as the primary source of evidence on which paramedics should base their prescribing decisions. NICE guidance reflects the best available evidence on which to base clinical decision-making. However, paramedics still need to critically appraise the evidence underpinning their prescribing, applying expertise and decision-making skills to inform their clinical reasoning. This is achieved by synthesising information from multiple sources to make appropriate, evidence-based judgments and diagnoses. This first article in the prescribing paramedic pharmacology series considers the importance of evidence-based paramedic prescribing, alongside a range of tools that can be used to develop and apply critical appraisal skills to support prescribing decision-making. These include critical appraisal checklists and research reporting tools.

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