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Use of Research in Clinical Practice Essay

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Improving the quality of patient care is inherently a continuous process, even supported by a popular management process Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) that is also promoted by government agencies. CQI is inherently complimentary with evidence-based practice (EBP) which is defined as the best explicit and judicious use of evidence in making decisions regarding patient care (Banerjee et al., 2012). In my practice at a large 247 bed licensed hospital, there are consistent improvements that need to be made. Medical staff examines patient data and performance indicators that track quality and brainstorms improvements that can be made. For example, to enhance the process of transferring a patient from the ED to the ward or the ICU, the hospital can make improvements to handoff procedures which allowed for more efficient but also very informative hand-offs between departments or shifts so that only the essential information was shared on charts and in changeovers. Such minor improvements to a standard process have been shown in evidence-based practice to have beneficial effects on patient care, satisfaction, and safety (Müller et al., 2018).

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It may be difficult at times to draw connections between research and evidence-based practice. According to Becker (2009), due to the diversity of nursing scholarship, data may not directly relate to clinical practice but multiple other elements of nursing knowledge, responsibilities, or otherwise such as education, health policy, or systems management. Understanding the numerous types of research, methodologies, and diversity of data learned in this course can contribute to nursing practice by being able to transition scientific research into utility implications for practice. Maintaining an in-depth comprehension of research methodology, allows a nursing professional to competently assess literature for usefulness and applicability in future EBP.

Nevertheless, EBP serves as a crucial element in improving patient safety and quality of care. In the AHRQ model, a three-step model is followed of knowledge creation, diffusion and dissemination, and then organizational adoption (Titler, 2008). Research studies collect relevant data regarding the effect of certain practices or changes in clinical care. These findings are analyzed, reviewed for generalizability, and published. Medical professionals in an organization who are encouraged to keep up with the latest evidence then may choose to make changes via appropriate channels which in itself include communication, models of change, and other elements such as protocol changes or social engagement initiatives (Titler, 2008). In the end, all changes are made only if they have the potential to improve the quality and safety of care, based on the appropriate findings in medical research. This is why many research studies are conducted in clinical settings with relevant sample populations, to demonstrate that the data resulting from an intervention, should it lead to improvements in clinical care, is applicable in healthcare organizations around the world.

References

Banerjee, A., Stanton, E., Lemer, C., & Marshall, M. (2012). What can quality improvement learn from evidence-based medicine? Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 105(2), 55–59. Web.

Becker, P. T. (2009). Thoughts on the end of the article: The implications for nursing practice. Research in Nursing & Health, 32(3), 241–242. Web.

Müller, M., Jürgens, J., Redaèlli, M., Klingberg, K., Hautz, W. E., & Stock, S. (2018). Impact of the communication and patient hand-off tool SBAR on patient safety: A systematic review. BMJ Open, 8(8), e022202. Web.

Titler, M. G. (2008). Chapter 7. The evidence for evidence-based practice implementation. In R. G. Hughes (Ed.), Patient safety and quality: An evidence-based handbook for nurses (vol. 1) (pp. 1-49). Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

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