Nursing – Evidence-Based Practice

Nursing – Evidence-Based Practice

Research studies show thatevidence-based practice(EBP) leads to higher qual- ity care, improved patient out- comes, reduced costs, and greater nurse satisfaction than traditional approaches to care.1-5 Despite these favorable findings, many nurses remain inconsistent in their implementation of evidence-based care. Moreover, some nurses, whose education predates the in- clusion of EBP in the nursing cur- riculum, still lack the computer and Internet search skills neces- sary to implement these practices. As a result, misconceptions about EBP—that it’s too difficult or too time-consuming—continue to flourish.

In the first article in this series (“Igniting a Spirit of Inquiry: An Essential Foundation for Evidence- Based Practice,” November 2009), we described EBP as a problem- solving approach to the delivery of health care that integrates the best evidence from well-designed studies and patient care data, and combines it with patient

preferences and values and nurse expertise. We also addressed the contribution of EBP to improved care and patient outcomes, de- scribed barriers to EBP as well as factors facilitating its implementa- tion, and discussed strategies for igniting a spirit of inquiry in clin- ical practice, which is the founda- tion of EBP, referred to as Step Zero. (Editor’s note: although EBP has seven steps, they are numbered zero to six.) In this article, we offer a brief overview of the multistep EBP process. Future articles will elaborate on each of the EBP steps, using the context provided by the

Case Scenario for EBP: Rapid Response Teams.

Step Zero: Cultivate a spirit of inquiry. If you’ve been following this series, you may have already started asking the kinds of ques- tions that lay the groundwork for EBP, for example: in patients with head injuries, how does supine positioning compared with elevating the head of the bed 30 degrees affect intracranial pressure? Or, in patients with supraventricular tachycardia, how does administering the β-blocker metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL) compared with ad- ministering no medicine affect