Evidence-Based Practice - Understanding of the Meaning Along With it's Benefits and Ways it May Be Implemented in the Healthcare Settings

Evidence-Based Practice - Understanding of the Meaning Along With it's Benefits and Ways it May Be Implemented in the Healthcare Settings

Healthcare revolves around a continuous need for new knowledge. Advances in knowledge and understanding are what allow for numerous improvements in the quality of healthcare offered today. In order to obtain the wisdom for these sought after leaps; a scientific method of research must be adopted and implemented. Evidence-based practice is the tool used to provide the highest standard of healthcare possible. Properly using evidence-based practice requires more than a general definition. This paper will present an expanded understanding of what evidence-based practice is, along with its benefits, and the various ways it may be implemented in the healthcare setting. Fully understanding evidence-based practice and its proper avenues of use are critical to advancing healthcare delivery as a whole.

Evidence-based practice has no one accepted definition. Instead, a multitude of definitions encircle the concept all with various ties to one another. Evidence-based practice could simply be described as making a clinical decision by using up-to-date scientific research (Pearson, 2001, as cited in Scott & McSherry, 2008). According to Xiaoshi (2008), EBP is just the work of combining patients’ ideals with a healthcare professional’s clinical proficiency. Hybrid versions of these definitions exist as well. Ciliska et al. (2001, as cited in Scott & McSherry, 2008) persists that EBP involves blending the highest quality of available evidence, associated skill levels, resources, and each patient’s own desires in order to make the most exceptional decisions regarding care. Although the idea of EBP seems fairly straight forward, it is important to make sure that the evidence being used is valid. According to Kvernbekk (2011), evidence is only evidence when it supports or refutes a given hypothesis. This is to say that whatever evidence is used in support of evidence-based practice must directly relate to whatever it is being applied to. When figuring the best practice for preventing blood clots in the elderly it would not be prudent to base a decision about care on a study done over preventing blood clots in newborn babies. Each specific question requires a specific answer which necessitates specific evidence. Despite no one accepted definition of EBP, the ideas of relative evidence, clinical skill, and patient preferences, remain immeasurably important when providing evidence-based practice care. Exceptional evidence-based practice leads to a full realization of all the advantages it has to offer.

Evidence-based practice is utilized because of the number of benefits it provides. Not only does EBP influence levels of care, it is also educationally and fiscally influences the healthcare system and its employees. Eighty-four studies revolving around EBP were studied and displayed advances in patients’ knowledge, behavior, and psychological well-being as opposed to patients who received general nursing care (Xiaoshi, 2008). The patient is not the only one that benefits from EBP. According to Courtney (2005, as cited in Xiaoshi, 2008), nurses feel more professional and competent in their practice by using evidence-based practice instead of merely taught rituals and habits. When a nurse makes a decision based on EBP in a clinical setting he or she is basing their decision on facts. Fact-based decisions can lower a nurse’s stress level when taking legal ramifications into account (Xiaoshi, 2008). In addition to legal benefits, EBP has the potential to save money. With the cost of everything increasing, implementing practices that reduce costs is a must. According to Scott and McSherry (2008), EBP allows for streamlining and order to be created throughout the healthcare system which leads to reduced costs. For instance, when inserting an IV, an exceptional amount of unnecessary supplies may be used. Research may be obtained implicating a specific amount of supplies needed to effectively insert an IV that is still effective and beneficial to patient care. Through the use of EBP, specialized IV-insertion kits may be made to prevent the wasting of supplies and thereby saving hospitals money. The benefits of EBP are numerous and spread out, yet overall patients, staff, and money are the three things of greatest importance within the healthcare setting. Knowing the benefits of evidence-based practice makes its implementation in healthcare that much more important.

Implementing evidence-based practice is a challenge that is still being fought. Despite the clear benefits related to EBP, universal implementation is facing several barriers. Although research is widely available to the public, healthcare providers argue they do not have time to seek out fresh research and make strides to apply it to their practice (Gerrish et al., 2010). It has been noted that healthcare providers also feel as if they lack the proper guidance in understanding and applying new interventions based on EBP (Conn, Cooper, Ruppar & Russell, 2008, as cited in Leeman & Sandelowski, 2012). This leads to the idea that providers are relying mainly on evidence that has already been turned into guidelines and educational programs (Gerrish et al., 2010). It is because of this that it becomes necessary to find implementation strategies in order for EBP to successfully be applied. According to Leeman, Baernholdt, and Sandelowski (2007, as cited in Leeman & Sandelowski, 2012), methods such as appraisal and assessment, methods to improve quality, and systematic reminders could be viable strategies to incorporate EBP. Some of the most useful ideas include explaining realistic expectations about the implementation timeline, presenting data for the expected outcomes, and training staff to be prepared for the changes (Leeman & Sandelowski, 2012). Recently in healthcare there has been a shift from paper to computerized charting. When integrating such a change the staff is notified well in advanced and generally only certain units at a time. This allows for personalized teaching and a trial period where any issues can be sorted out before hospital-wide implementation. Although making such a large change will take significant effort and time, the overall effect will be both more efficient and financially beneficial. In essence that is the big picture of EBP, it can be difficult to incorporate but overall it will produce the best results. Universal implementation of evidence-based practice is still far away, yet more evidence continuously rises in its support.

The advantages of evidence-based practice cannot be denied. The use of research and evidence in a clinical setting is the highest standard of healthcare. The health and happiness of patients show fast improvements when evidence-based practice is used. Even more exceptional is the benefit shown to healthcare providers. While operating through evidence-based practice, providers are more competent and self-assured. In order for healthcare to thrive in quality, evidence-based practice must be used correctly and thoroughly. It is because of exceptional evidence-based practice that effective means of practice are discovered and applied in today’s healthcare setting.

References
Gerrish, K., Guillaume, L., Kirshbaum, M., McDonnell, A., Tod, A., & Nolan, M. (2010). Factors influencing the contribution of advanced practice nurses to promoting evidence-based practice among front-line nurses: findings from a cross-sectional survey. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 67, 1079-1090. Retrieved from http://www.centralmethodist.edu:2089/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=9ef02...

Kvernbekk, T. (2011). The concept of evidence in evidence-based practice. Educational Theory, 61, 515-532. Retrieved from http://www.centralmethodist.edu:2089/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=9ef02...
Leeman, J., & Sandelowski, M. (2012). Practice-Based Evidence and Qualitative Inquiry. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 44, 171-179. Retrieved from http://www.centralmethodist.edu:2089/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=9ef02...
Scott, K., & McSherry, R. (2009). Evidence-based nursing: clarifying the concepts for nurses in practice. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 18, 1085-1095. Retrieved from http://www.centralmethodist.edu:2089/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=9ef02...

Xiaoshoi, L. (2008). Evidence-based practice in nursing: What is it and what is the impact of leadership and management practices on implementation? Nursing Journal, 6-12. Retrieved from http://www.centralmethodist.edu:2089/ehost/detail?vid=3&hid=9&sid=dc9f7c...