Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing Essay Example
Science and healthcare is a continuously evolving industry. Advances in healthcare have been made possible by the integration of evidence-based practice. To further promote effectiveness and safe practice, nurses must understand the fundamentals of evidence-based practice and how it relates to the nursing profession. Investigating the roots and evolution of evidence-based practice allows for better comprehension of how this method has been used over time and how this practice can continue to foster best practices in healthcare. The use of evidence-based practice within the nursing profession and the effect this practice has on patients will be further discussed to better understand the use of this method and how it benefits healthcare practices. Analyzing the effects of evidence-based practice on other healthcare professions, the influence this has on facility policies, and the relationship these share with quality and patient safety will maximize the appreciation and continued application of evidence-based practice.
What is Evidence-Based Practice?
The ultimate goal of healthcare is to promote the health and wellbeing of patients holistically through best practice. Clinical practices have evolved over time through experience, preferences, and research evidence (Samonte & Vallente, 2018). These three factors make up evidence-based practice. Experience is first hand knowledge that can be passed down from generations that relay practical information through observation and contact. Patient and provider preference also plays a vital role in evidence-based practice because this provides familiarity and comfort within clinical practices. Research evidence is the critical element of evidence-based practice. Evidence and clinical research reveals the statistical correlation between methodologies of clinical practice. The use experience, preference, and research in evidence-based practice are the driving forces behind advances in clinical practice. As clinical methods continue to enhance, holistic health will be more effectively and safely achieved. Evidence-based practice can be divided into several categories including allied health, medicine, psychology, and nursing (Samonte & Vallente, 2018).
Why is Evidence-Based Practice Part of the Nursing Profession?
The profession of nursing is built on the foundation of evidence-based practice. Clinical research, evidence, preference, and experience provided by nursing curriculum paves the path for the knowledge and comprehension needed for competent nursing care. The science and healthcare industry continuously develops new and more effective clinical practices which increases and promotes the growing knowledge of nurses and their practice. Implementation of evidence-based practice in the nursing profession allows for the continued exploration of enhanced practical care and lifelong learning (Purdue University Northwest, 2015).
The Evolution of Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing
The profession of nursing and evidence-based practice developed in the early 1800s by Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War (Mackey & Bassendowski, 2017). Nightingale strived for education and best practice amongst the nursing profession to promote competent, patient-centered care that fostered bettering outcomes for patients. Evidence-based practice was crucial in the education of nurses because it allowed knowledge and research evidence to be implemented into patient care. As research and theories in the nursing profession emerged, evidence-based practice allowed theories to be tested for practical implementation. Technological advances over time allowed for more precise data interpretation when considering research used for evidence-based practice and will continue to promote best nursing practice (Mackey, 2017).
Evidence Based Practice Applied to Nursing Care
Patient-centered care is the focal point of the nursing profession. Nurses are responsible for providing tailored, competent care to promote health and the prevention of disease to the diverse needs of each patient. Because nurses play a vital role in the clinical practice that makes up patient care, nurses implement the use of evidence-based practice to optimize the care the patient is receiving (Dang, Sigma Theta Tau International, Dearholt & Johns Hopkins University, 2018). Similar to the scientific method, nurses must first start their research in evidence-based practice with a question that relates to the clinical care the patients are receiving with hopes of discovering safer and more effective practices. Evidence is gathered to determine discrepancies and correlations in the outcome of differing clinical practices are performed. While evidence is critical in the determination of the best practice, nurses must also advocate patient perception to care and treatment to ensure best practice and satisfying patient needs. As stated, many healthcare practices are passed down through experience and expertise; this is true for the nursing profession. As nurses gain knowledge, experience and trusting relationships with patients, they can implement evidence-based practice to promote holistic health and further aid in the evolving practice of nursing and healthcare (Dang et al., 2018).
How Evidence-Based Practice Affects Patient Outcomes
The promotion and understanding of patient outcomes constructed the development of evidence-based practice (Mackey, 2017). During the 19th century when Florence Nightingale began defining the nursing profession, she began conducting research between clinical practices and patient outcomes that included rates of infection, morbidity, and mortality. Nightingale analyzed basic statistics and positively identified the correlation between unsanitary clinical environments and rates of infections before the study of microbiology and pathology was defined (Mackey, 2017). In modern society, proper aseptic technique and hand washing is considered common knowledge, but in the early development of evidence-based practice this was groundbreaking for bettering patient outcomes. Evidence-base practice strives for best practice to promote the health and safety of patients. Through theoretical ideas backed by research evidence the healthcare industry can continue to optimize patient outcomes.
How Does Evidence-Based Practice Influence Healthcare Professions?
Each healthcare profession has evolved over time from the use of evidence-based practice allowing for more effective and bettering patient outcomes. Healthcare is a system of many specialties that often requires teamwork and collaboration amongst one another. When implementing new practices formed through evidence-based practice, health team members are responsible for initiating and promoting the use. The promotion of evidence-based practice amongst healthcare professions enables professional development and the knowledge needed for best patient outcomes and safe practices (Cullen & Hanrahan, 2018).
Evidence-Based Practice and Influence on Facility Policies
Evidence-based practice has influenced several facility policies to promote patient satisfaction and safety. The University of New Mexico published an article in 2016 that describes the impact of evidence-based practice and facility policies that have been implemented in most healthcare settings. Dress code for healthcare professionals may be a seemingly insignificant facility policy, but has had a major impact on patient safety and quality improvement. Assigning different colored attire based on profession allows patients and other healthcare workers to correctly identify individuals; this is extremely important during traumas and codes when several departments must work together. The article also discussed hospital policies and the nurse to patient ratio to reduce work overload and fatigue. Implementing this policy has drastically improved patient safety and limited clinical practice errors and promotes timely care to each patient. Evidence-based practice has influenced many facility policies overtime and will hopefully continue to employ policies to that promote a safer and more effective environment for both staff members and for patients (The University of New Mexico, 2016).
Evidence-Based Practice and Continuing Quality Improvement
In order to promote quality improvement in healthcare, evidence-based practice must continue to be utilized by healthcare professionals. Implantation of evidence-based practice requires the five critical components of asking focused questions, obtaining evidence, critical evaluation of evidence, change of practice, and evaluation of outcome (Gillam, 2014). When continuing quality treatment improvement, the focal point question, or problem, must be specific and include the population, intervention, and outcome. The evidence used to determine quality improvement must be attainable and reliable. Evidence is generally gathered from published research articles and systematic data collection. Once the evidence has been collected, critical appraisal must be performed to determine if the solution will improve quality measures and if the evidence can be appropriately implemented. Implementation of new practices will then need to be evaluated to determine if there is a positive outcome. Continuing evidence-based practice will indefinitely improve quality treatment and continue to support bettering practice and outcomes (Gillam, 2014).
Evidence-Based Practice and Patient Safety
Patient safety is priority when providing clinical care. Evidence-based practice allows healthcare professionals to practice with confidence knowing that the care they are providing to promote health and prevent illness is supported by evidence (Elsevier, 2016). When providing treatment options, healthcare professionals are able to recommend options with the highest success rates based on evidence and statistical studies. With most procedures and treatments there are possibilities of risks and complications, but these risks and complications can be dramatically reduced by reviewing evidence with related causatives. Adoption of evidence-best practice ensures patient safety as a priority and promotes continuous, positive patient outcomes (Elsevier, 2016).
As a result of evidence-based practice, healthcare will continue to evolve in more effective and efficient clinical practices promoting positive patient outcomes. Experience, preference, and evidence are the vital principles that make up evidence-based practice. The nursing profession relies on evidence-based practice to ensure they are providing the best care possible for their patients and allows nurses to continue lifelong learning. Understanding the roots and evolution of evidence-based practice brings to light the power and possibilities that research evidence has on improving clinical care. Modern nursing care was developed and implemented by the use of evidence-based practice and continues to evolve as new evidence and research develops. Promoting positive patient outcomes are made possible by implementing evidence-based practice. Many facilities have adapted policies such as dress codes and staff to patient ratios based on statistical evidence and have since reduced the number of medical errors and improved overall satisfaction. Evidence-based practice strives for improved quality and safety measures and allows for continued implementation as clinical concerns or questions arise. Evidence-based practice has fundamentally refined healthcare and will allow for continued exploration of clinical practice.