1. Foley, Sylvia

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When Gil Grissom, a forensic scientist on the hit television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, says, "Follow the evidence," his ultimate goal may be justice for the dead. But the shift toward evidence-based medical and nursing practice stems from another goal: that of improved health care for the living.


In this month's Critical Care Extra edition of the journal, AJN debuts a new column, Best Practice, provided by the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI; formerly the Joanna Briggs Institute for Evidence Based Nursing and Midwifery). Founded in 1996 as a research and development unit of Royal Adelaide Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia, and affiliated with the University of Adelaide, JBI's mission is to support "a collaborative approach to the evaluation of evidence derived from a diverse range of sources, including experience, expertise, and all forms of rigorous research" and the implementation of the "best available" evidence into practice. Today its network of collaborating centers extends across Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, and North America.


JBI's goals are similar to those of the Cochrane Collaboration, an international nonprofit organization launched in the United Kingdom in 1993 that "produces and disseminates systematic reviews of health care interventions and promotes the search for evidence in the form of clinical trials and other studies." To these ends, it publishes the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews quarterly, as part of the Cochrane Library, seeking to ensure that health care decisions worldwide "can be informed by high-quality, timely research evidence." In just over a decade, the Cochrane Collaboration has become one of the premier resources for health care professionals worldwide. Although much smaller in scale-JBI currently involves about 200 researchers, clinicians, and academics, whereas the Cochrane Collaboration involves more than 10,000-JBI has acquired a similarly impressive reputation for its work. Indeed, an investigation published in the November, 2001 issue of AACN Clinical Issues identified JBI as one of the top Internet resources supporting evidence-based nursing practice, citing both ease of use and high quality of evidence.


AJN has brought readers such resources before. For example, since 2001 AJN has periodically published clinical guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), along with commentary from nurses in relevant specialties. The USPSTF, an independent panel of private-sector experts in primary care and prevention, was created by the U.S. Public Health Service in 1984 and has been sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality since 1998.


Best Practice will cover a broad range of topics and will appear periodically in AJN. Some installments will appear in all editions of the journal; others may be better suited to readers of the Hospital Extra or the Critical Care Extra editions only.


It's been said that science has no nationality. One of AJN 's longstanding goals is to seek out and present to readers the very best evidence we can find. Both JBI and AJN invite your feedback. We are especially interested in hearing from readers who are conducting relevant research, or who know of pertinent findings that have not yet been widely reported. We'd also like to hear whether what you read in Best Practice proves helpful and how your practice changes as a result. Readers may contact JBI staff at and Diana J. Mason, AJN editor-in-chief, at