Discussion: Practice to Health Care

Discussion: Practice to Health Care

Discussion: Practice to Health Care

Discussion: Practice to Health Care


Week 8 discussion DQ 1 What is the significance of evidence-based practice to health care? Discuss the most reliable evidence-based sources. DQ 2 Now that you have submitted your research proposal and you are preparing to submit your research proposal presentation, how confident do you feel about developing a research proposal as part of your future career as a nurse researcher? Explain your answer. What questions or concerns do you still have about conducting research in nursing?

Evidence-based health care practices are available for a number of conditions such as asthma, heart failure, and diabetes. However, these practices are not always implemented in care delivery, and variation in practices abound.1–4Traditionally, patient safety research has focused on data analyses to identify patient safety issues and to demonstrate that a new practice will lead to improved quality and patient safety.5 Much less research attention has been paid to how to implement practices. Yet, only by putting into practice what is learned from research will care be made safer.5Implementing evidence-based safety practices are difficult and need strategies that address the complexity of systems of care, individual practitioners, senior leadership, and—ultimately—changing health care cultures to be evidence-based safety practice environments.5

Nursing has a rich history of using research in practice, pioneered by Florence Nightingale.6–9 Although during the early and mid-1900s, few nurses contributed to this foundation initiated by Nightingale,10 the nursing profession has more recently provided major leadership for improving care through application of research findings in practice.11

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is the conscientious and judicious use of current best evidence in conjunction with clinical expertise and patient values to guide health care decisions.12–15 Best evidence includes empirical evidence from randomized controlled trials; evidence from other scientific methods such as descriptive and qualitative research; as well as use of information from case reports, scientific principles, and expert opinion. When enough research evidence is available, the practice should be guided by research evidence in conjunction with clinical expertise and patient values. In some cases, however, a sufficient research base may not be available, and health care decision making is derived principally from nonresearch evidence sources such as expert opinion and scientific principles.16 As more research is done in a specific area, the research evidence must be incorporated into the EBP.15

Models of Evidence-Based Practice

Multiple models of EBP are available and have been used in a variety of clinical settings.16–36 Although review of these models is beyond the scope of this chapter, common elements of these models are selecting a practice topic (e.g., discharge instructions for individuals with heart failure), critique and syntheses of evidence, implementation, evaluation of the impact on patient care and provider performance, and consideration of the context/setting in which the practice is implemented.1517 The learning that occurs during the process of translating research into practice is valuable information to capture and feed back into the process, so that others can adapt the evidence-based guideline and/or the implementation strategies.

A recent conceptual framework for maximizing and accelerating the transfer of research results from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) patient safety research portfolio to health care delivery was developed by the dissemination subcommittee of the AHRQ Patient Safety Research Coordinating Committee.37 This model is a synthesis of concepts from scientific information on knowledge transfer, social marketing, social and organizational innovation, and behavior change (see Figure 1).37 Although the framework is portrayed as a series of stages, the authors of this framework do not believe that the knowledge transfer process is linear; rather, activities occur simultaneously or in different sequences, with implementation of EBPs being a multifaceted process with many actors and systems.


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