Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) has captured the attention of healthcare providers, healthcare organizations, and consumers to positively influence patient outcomes. However, confusion abounds about how evidence-based practice differs from research and quality improvement.
Select either EBP, research, or QI and identify how the selected approach is implemented to improve outcomes at your workplace.
How do you know this approach is utilized?
Is this selected approach used apart from or in conjunction with the other approaches?
Can one approach be effectively applied without the others? Why or why not?
Forms of Nursing Inquiry: Quality Improvement(QI), Research, and Evidence-Based Practice (EBP)
These are approaches sought to investigate and resolve a clinical problem.
Evidence-Based Practice (EBP)
This is a systematic problem-solving approach to clinical decision making in a health-care organization. It involves the integration of the best available scientific evidence with the best available experiential evidence, for example, practitioner and patient experiences.
Information acquired from EBP can lead to a quality improvement project. This is a process that is used to improve health-care services, systems, or processes mostly at the local level, with the intent to improve outcomes.
This is a systematic investigation, testing, and evaluation designed to develop or contribute to knowledge that can be generalized. The research seeks to either validate existing knowledge to answer a specific clinical question or generate new knowledge.
How Evidence-Based Practice Differs From Research and Quality Improvement
EBP translates knowledge acquired from relevant research, clinical expertise, and the preferences of patients and uses it to improve clinical practice. If there isn’t any best evidence or practice relating to the clinical problem in question, research is necessary to acquire new information that may help the situation.
Quality Improvement: How It’s Implemented to Improve Health-care Outcomes
QI is meant to enhance safety, effectiveness, and efficiency. This is enforced by monitoring, assessing, and improving the standards of health-care provided by an organization. Health-care processes require rigorous and continuous improvement to attain a higher level of performance. Cultivating such an improvement can root out outdated concepts and utilize technology to get better quality results.
How Quality Improvement is Utilized
An organization ought to understand the functioning of its delivery systems and key processes instead of making assumptions. The aim is to streamline the input, process, and output cycle to meet the specific needs of the organization’s health-care system. Services provided by the organization have to be modified to attain patient safety, engagement, access, provision of evidence-based care, and patient-centered communication.
Data is also very vital when it comes to describing the functioning of current systems, tracking changes and comparison, and monitoring to allow for sustainable development. When the insights that are given are based on real data, one can deliver better outcomes, minimize variations and re-admissions, lower infection rates, and reduce the number of medical errors.
The use of care coordination software is also very effective especially when dealing with chronic conditions. It reduces the care fragmentation of a patient by providing a secure network of trusted health-care providers and ensuring effective referrals and smooth transitions between any number of health-care providers.
Although Quality Improvement is largely a long-term strategy, if it is implemented systematically it will optimize patient care and reduce process failure, poor outcomes, and errors. Those improved processes can even help recognize and solve process before they occur while also eliminating wasteful activities in the organization.
Quality Improvement is often achieved after rigorous Evidence-Based Practice. This is to say that no single method of inquiry is entirely sufficient on its own. Nurses may be seen to be more involved in Quality Improvement compared to the other approaches because it doesn’t involve extensive literature reviews and critical analysis. For effective optimization of an organization’s health care system, all approaches have to be explored and utilized in detail.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2015, February). Six Domains of Health Care Quality. https://www.ahrq.gov/talkingquality/measures/six-domains.html
National Quality Center. (2008). A Modern Paradigm for Improving Healthcare Quality. https://www.urc-chs.com/sites/default/files.AModernParadigm.pdf
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration. (2011). Quality Improvement