Why Choose Evidence-based Practice?

Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, PhD, RN, APRN-CNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN

“Evidence-based practice is key to achieving the quadruple aim in health care.”—Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, APRN-CNP, FNAP, FAAN, AANP member since 2012

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is defined by Duke University Medical Center as the integration of clinical expertise, patient values and the best research evidence into the decision-making process for patient care.

EBP strategies allow NPs and other health care providers to translate research findings into clinical practice. With efficient literature-searching skills and the application of formal rules of evidence in evaluating research findings, providers can apply existing scientific knowledge in their clinical practice for each individual patient.

“The Institute for Healthcare Improvement said we should target the triple aim in health care: improving the patient experience, improving population health outcomes and decreasing health care costs,” says Melnyk. “Some years after the triple aim goal came out, a fourth aim was added: improving the work life of clinicians and their well-being. EBP is the secret sauce to enable us to get to that quadruple aim.”

In a time when NPs and many other providers experience symptoms of burn out, EBP can be empowering. While it may require a different skillset, research has shown that when providers deliver evidence-based care, patient outcomes are markedly improved.

Unfortunately, even when health care providers hold positive opinions about EBP, many do not actively implement EBP strategies due to a lack of time, lack of leadership buy-in and investment or lack of understanding.

“We conducted a study of 276 chief nurse executives from across the U.S. and found that, although they believe in value of EBP, they didn’t invest in it for their clinicians. Although they identified quality and safety as key priorities, EBP was at the bottom,” says Melnyk.

“This tells us they don’t understand EBP is the direct pathway to getting to health care quality and safety. EBP is all about using the best evidence to make the best clinical decisions to achieve the best clinical outcomes.”

Learn the seven steps of the EBP process from renowned experts in the field in Foundations of Evidence-based Practice in Health Care. This free, massive open online course (MOOC) will guide you through current trends, provide strategies to overcome barriers and help you create system change in your practice setting.

Don’t wait—the next course ends April 22, 2019. Enroll today!

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