Healthcare practitioners are increasingly expected to understand and practice evidence-based healthcare. However, to apply evidence-based healthcare methods on an individual basis in a specific clinic or with a specific patient is rarely possible because it is time consuming and requires specialized skills. One way of facilitating evidence-based care is to use evidence-based products produced by others. In 1997, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality designated 12 evidence-based practice centers. Since their inception, these evidence-based practice centers have produced 40 evidence reports. This article provides an overview of the purpose and process of evidence-based practice centers using examples from the first evidence report produced by the Johns Hopkins Evidence-based Practice Center. The steps in the process of developing an evidence report include recruitment of experts, refinement of the questions, design of the literature search plan, quality assessment and data abstraction from identified articles, synthesis of evidence, peer review, and dissemination. Each step is defined and illustrated with examples from the development of an evidence report on atrial fibrillation.

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