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Foundation of Evidence-Based Decision Making for Health Care Managers, Part 1: Systematic Review

Forrestal, Elizabeth J. PhD, RHIA, CCS, FAHIMA

doi: 10.1097/HCM.0000000000000003

Evidence-based decision making has become a benchmark of best practice. Sources of evidence are systematic reviews and meta-analyses. To support their decision making, health care managers and supervisors need to be able to critically read and interpret systematic reviews and meta-analyses. They also need to be able to determine the applicability of the evidence to their problems and settings. This 2-part series of articles aims to equip health care managers and supervisors with these skills. This article, part 1, explains the types of systematic reviews, defines key terms, and outlines the process of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Part 2 focuses on the additional procedures associated with meta-analyses, describes the potential shortcomings of both systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and finally, provides a way to appraise the applicability of their results.

Author Affiliation: Health Services and Information Management, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina.

The author has no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Elizabeth J. Forrestal, PhD, RHIA, CCS, FAHIMA, College of Allied Health Sciences, Mail Code 668, 4340Q Health Science Bldg, Greenville, NC 27858-4353 (

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins