Evidence-based practice, also called EBP, is frequently utilized in many aspects of healthcare, including nursing. It provides useful insight into evidence-backed methods in nearly every possible sector of nursing, such as direct patient care, workflow issues, infection control, supply management, charting, central line care, etc.
Using EBP in clinical settings requires a working knowledge of research terms and methods. It allows nurses to implement the latest research methods in real-world scenarios, like direct patient care. The nurse’s expansive knowledge paired with quality improvement data can enable the exploration of potential modifications to current workflows, in turn leading to enhanced patient outcomes.
Improved Patient Care
A recent article discussing potential benefits to using EBP states, “Evidence-based practice might prompt nurses to alter methods, even those they’ve used for years, if the evidence contradicts what they learned in school or what has been standard practice for decades. With its focus on proven outcomes, EBP can contribute to improved patient care.”
Remaining abreast of current and up-to-date research methods is important in a fast-paced field such as healthcare. With research being done frequently, many advancements to improve overall care and efficiency are put into practice regularly.
According to an article in the Journal of the Medical Library Association detailing study results of nurses and the use of evidence-based practice in Singapore, “More than 64% of the nurses expressed a positive attitude toward EBP. However, they pointed out that due to heavy workload, they cannot keep up to date with new evidence. Nurses in Singapore, as in other countries, support the idea of evidence-based practice (EBP) but have limited skills in the area of literature searching and understanding evidence, which limits their use of evidence-based practice.”
EBP Requires Management Support
While barriers to EBP exist within the nursing profession, it is the responsibility of leadership and management to provide training and teaching tools for nurses to fully grasp the concepts and adequately implement change.
Having an interest in learning research methods and pursuing current information is a positive attribute for any nurse to have. This desire to continue learning research-based developments leads to an empowered profession, capable of implementing change to best meet the needs of present and future patients.
La Salle University nursing alumna Georgian Green expresses her passion for learning: “I liked the evidence-based courses. I liked those because in nursing everything is evidence-driven, so it’s good to know how to go about things.”
Implementation of evidence-based practice is present in many sectors of healthcare, including updated policies, procedures and workflow. Having a solid foundation of research methods and terms continues to serve many healthcare professionals and can make EBP-based change an easier transition.
Comprehension of the overall healthcare system and use of research within the scope of nursing is vital. When nurses understand the reasons and research behind improvements, they are more likely to participate fully. Evidence-based practice continues to provide meaningful advancements that impact healthcare staff, administration and most importantly, the patients.
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