Evidence based practice (EBP) refers to the process of explicitly and carefully using individual clinical expertise and external clinical evidence in the improvement of patient care (Courtney & McCutcheon, 2010). External clinical evidence originates from systematic research conducted on various medical areas. EBP encompasses clinical proficiency, patient values, and knowledge from research in order to improve the decision making process for the improvement of health care. Clinical expertise comes from the knowledge and skills of the medical practitioner as well as the experience gained from treating patients (Courtney & McCutcheon, 2010). The incorporation of expertise, patient values, and research into clinical decisions helps to improve the outcomes of patient care. Nurses have the responsibility to integrate the aforementioned aspects into their practice. They can expand the use of evidence based practices in care delivery in many ways including innovation, expansion of ANP scope of practice, embracement of technology, enhancement of interprofessional collaborations, and participation in research activities (Huber, 2013).
Expansion of the use of EBP in care delivery
Innovation is one of most important components of improving the quality of patient care delivered in hospitals. For instance, nurses can develop new methods of care delivery that improve the efficiency, safety, and quality of care (Huber, 2013). It is necessary for nurses to attend training programs and use innovative tools that are developed to improve care delivery (Courtney & McCutcheon, 2010). Innovation can be used to improve care delivery in many ways. For instance, the American Nursing Foundation offers grants for research studies into critical issues such as the effect of loneliness on adults with chronic illnesses and the various coping strategies that nurses sue to overcome work-related challenges. Innovation can be used to develop tools that can make the nursing practice more effective and efficient.
Expansion of the practice scope of advanced practice nurses (APN) is important. APNs should be allowed to explore various medical fields and research areas based on their education level and the scope of their licensure (Huber, 2013). They can collaborate with physicians and professionals in other disciplinary fields to provide quality and cost-effective care. Research studies have established that APNs play an important role in providing primary care. The quality of the care they provide is equivalent to that provided by physicians. On the other hand, the rising demand for health care and the shortage of medical practitioners necessitate more involvement of nurses in provision of primary care. Expanding the scope of practice will give nurses an opportunity to encounter, address, and find solutions to different challenges that face communities (Huston, 2013). In addition, it will allow them to put their knowledge and skills into practice into solving more complex health issues.
Another way of expanding the use of EBP in care delivery is through the embracement of technology (Huber, 2013). Nurses should learn to use the newest medical technologies and documentation systems in order to improve their work. This can be effectively achieved by incorporating simulation labs into the teaching methods used in nursing schools. In addition, training should focus on teaching nurses how to identify and use important technologies in their practice (Huston, 2013). Technology can be used to improve care delivery because it helps to improve communication between nurses and patients, reduce medication errors, lower cases of missed appointments, and decrease surgical errors (Huber, 2013). In addition, technology facilitates the dissemination of information between nurses and other staff members for improved, safe, and effective care delivery. Technology also improves workflow, facilitates storage of health information, and synchronizes various health care systems and databases for effective care delivery (Huston, 2013).
Enhancement of interprofessional and interdisciplinary collaboration is important in expanding the use of evidence based practices in care delivery. In many health care settings, nurses, physicians, and unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) work independently and rarely share knowledge and information that can improve care delivery. Physicians consider themselves the primary care providers and therefore look down upon nurses and UAPs. On the other hand, there is a hierarchical relationship between nurses and UAPs. It is important for nurses, physicians, and UAPs to collaborate because they each provide an important portion of patient care (Huston, 2013). Therefore, coordination among them in the treatment and implementation of different health intervention is necessary for improved care delivery. Collaboration reduces medical errors and eradicates fragmentation of health care (Huston, 2013). Interdisciplinary collaboration facilitates exchange of knowledge and information that is necessary in the development of innovation methods of improving care delivery.
Evidence based practice (EBP) involves the application of clinical experience, patient values, and research findings in the delivery of patient care. Nurses possess knowledge and experience that make them a critical component in the delivery of care in the health care system. They can expand the use of EBP in care delivery by embracing innovation, encouraging interprofessional and interdisciplinary collaborations, extending the scope of their practice, and embracing technology. Technology helps to reduce medication errors, enhance communication, and facilitate the storage and retrieval of patient information. On the other hand, innovation leads to development of new methods of care delivery while collaboration enhances the dissemination of knowledge and information regarding various issues that nurses encounter in care delivery.
Courtney, M., & McCutcheon, H. (2010). Using Evidence to Guide Nursing Practice. New York, NY: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Huber, D. (2013). Leadership and Nursing Care Management. New York, NY: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Huston, C. J. (2013). Professional Issues in Nursing: Challenges and Opportunities. New York, NY: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.