The BMJ PG have given a lot of thought into the re-branding of their ‘evidence’ output – the BMJ Evidence Centre. There is also news of a new ‘point of care’ tool, Best Practice, which will be available in the UK from early 2009. It appears that this is already available in North America via the name BMJ Point of Care. I know little about either, but I should be visiting the BMJ Evidence Centre in the near future and hope to learn more then.

The Evidence Centre was highlighted in an editorial in this week’s BMJ (click here; alas you need a subscription to read). Part of the same editorial continues with the ‘reaction’ to the overuse of the RCT, reporting:

“Michael Rawlins is right. In his Harveian Oration at the Royal College of Physicians last month he clearly signalled the medical profession’s overuse of randomised controlled trials to guide clinical decision making…
…Perhaps Michael Rawlins will be similarly influential, but in the opposite direction—by emphasising the dangers of relying too much on randomised controlled trials almost to the exclusion of other types of useful information. “

In my recent blog post – Experience as evidence – I highlighted some concerns around the prevailing view of ‘evidence’ and the above editorial shows that this questioning is gaining traction.

Another ‘angle’ is that the BMJ Evidence Centre is cleverly positioning itself to take advantage of the current situation to show itself to be radically different from a certain competitor who relies almost exclusively on the RCT – Cochrane. In which case should the ‘editorial’ be an advertorial?

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