Spring 2006 Table of Contents
News from the College
Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing Launch Evidence-Based Practice Program

Dr. Carolyn Clancy

Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing Launch Evidence-Based Practice Program

Dr. Carolyn Clancy, Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was the keynote speaker at the College of Dentistry on February 2, for the launch of a new evidence-based practice program. The program, a collaboration of the Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing, seeks to improve the quality, effectiveness, and appropriateness of patient care by teaching dental students and nursing students to integrate their clinical experience with the best scientific evidence.

Calling the opportunities presented by evidence-based practice "breathtaking," Dr. Clancy explained that AHRQ, nicknamed "The Evidence Agency," is building a foundation of scientific evidence and information that can help health-care providers understand which treatments work best, for whom, and with what risks. "The results," she said, "will greatly enhance healthcare decision making at all levels and give consumers and patients the tools they need to become more involved in their own health care." The Evidence-based Practice Program will utilize the various resources on evidence-based practice developed by AHRQ, including the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse and AHRQ-funded research.

"It is fitting that the NYU Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing, with their long histories and traditions of excellence in research, education and practice, are launching this program," said Dr. Clancy. "As producers, users and promoters for evidence, your program can make a significant difference in the quality, effectiveness and safety of healthcare services in this country."

Dr. Joan M. Phelan, Professor and Chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology and Medicine, is coordinating the College of Dentistry's participation in the program. "This program is a natural opportunity for the Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing to work together," said Dr. Phelan. "The College of Nursing has long embraced evidence-based practice and has made it a formal part of the curriculum. The College of Dentistry has also used this approach; in fact it is introduced during the first year of the curriculum, and it will become a pervasive component of the curriculum going forward. Our objective is to see how evidence-based practice best fits into our curriculum and patient care programs."

Dr. Phelan's counterpart at the College of Nursing, Dr. Judith Haber, the Ursula Springer Leadership Professor in Nursing and Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, added, "This initiative has the potential to develop a national model for collaborative, evidence-based practice that capitalizes on the research and clinical expertise of the dental and nursing faculties. What is most exciting is that, as we build a foundation of evidence and information that informs treatment decisions, our patients will be the beneficiaries."