Document Type

White Paper

Original Publication Date



If teaching about clinical inquiry, this diagram along with one listed provides how evidence is used at the bedside as the how the clinical inquiry process based on the evidence either becomes research, performance improvement or an evidence-based practice project.

Date of Submission

March 2024


Evidence-based practice (EBP) is crucial in healthcare for improving care and organizational outcomes. However, there is a lack of consensus among various health professions regarding the definition and implementation of evidence-based practice in the clinical environment. This lack of consensus centers on whether EBP is project-based or if it occurs primarily at the bedside. This diagram illustrates how evidence is utilized to inform bedside decision-making. It demonstrates that the process is iterative and the intervention or decision made is contingent upon the evidence, one’s clinical experience, and the patient/situation.

The purpose of the diagram is to help those involved in the clinical inquiry process to understand how the process may work at the bedside.

The author would like to acknowledge the following for their ideas and willingness to provide feedback to improve this diagram.

  • Heather Fudala, PhD, RN (VCU Health System)
  • John Cyrus (VCU Libraries)

Is Part Of

VCU Libraries Faculty and Staff Publications