The main ideology of functional medicine is to focus on the individual. It can be very time-consuming for both practitioners and clients, if they are to start from a blank slate and build a unique treatment plan for every client. Therefore multiple institutions and practitioners are building evidence-based medicine protocols as a starting point for the individualized client care journey.
Evidence-Based Medicine Protocols
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) aims to address the persistent problem of clinical practice variation with the help of various tools, including standardized practice protocols.
Protocols are providing the practitioners a structure and a starting point when starting up a client case. The practitioners are expected to use the protocols as guidance and use their clinical judgement afterwards to customize the client plan.
Evidence-based protocols include recommendations for the use of a wide spectre of measures such as therapies, movement, nutrition and supplements. It relies on reviews of current research as well as the experience of expert health practitioners when insufficient scientific evidence is available, and it must meet the highest possible criteria of evidence.
As a practitioner, it is now possible to rely on evidence-based treatment forms and use it as a starting point before moving into personalizing the treatment plans for every unique client.
This also means that the practitioners do not necessarily have to spend countless hours reading through research and scientific articles for each individual case.
How to start using protocols as a practitioner
As a newly established practitioner there are 3 steps we would recommend to follow before jumping into the protocols:
1. Only use reliable sources of protocols
Each country has its own governmental database where it is possible to find protocols. You can be certain these protocols meet the strict scientific requirements and they are reviewed by a medical panel as well.
2. Personalize the protocols
Some clients might only use parts of one protocol, and some will need a combination of multiple protocols. Make sure to personalize every time you use a protocol.
3. Refine protocols
Each health practice is also an individual, so the protocols used should be adapted to individual clinical experiences.
Optimize your practice
Together with our virtual supplement dispensary, implementing protocols in your practice may help you achieve better clarity, focus, efficiency and quality during the client course and ultimately grow your practice.
- Timmermans S., Mauck A. The promises and pitfalls of evidence-based medicine. 2005