Evidence-based practice important to health outcomes, rarely implemented

Hospitals across the country have failed to implement evidence-based practice (EBP), which integrates best practices, expertise, and patient input, and correlates to high-quality care and improved outcomes. Perhaps related, the Ohio State University found that more than one-third of hospitals are failing to meet nursing performance metrics.

Study

The university’s College of Nursing studied chief nurse executives’ survey results, which included the EBP beliefs scale, EBP implementation scale, the organizational cultural and readiness scale for EBP, CMS core measures, and the national database of nursing quality indicators (NDNQI). The responses indicated that while belief in EBP is relatively high, nurses are unsure of the steps required for implementation and not convinced that EBP could be implemented efficiently. Over half of respondents believed that EBP is either “somewhat” or “not at all” practiced, and almost as many were unsure how to measure the outcomes of their services.

Triple aim

The study’s authors believe that EBP is a fundamental key to reaching the “triple aim” of health care: improving care, improving health, and lowering costs. Although the respondent nurses ranked quality and safety as their top priorities, EBP was farther down the list and almost no money was allocated to EBP implementation. The authors stated that organizations need better EBP resources and tools to increase familiarity with the process. However, clinician behavior and willingness to work in a new way is even more important, and generally does not happen simply due to the availability of information. The authors recommended offering compelling reasons to change processes along with skill-building workshops and clear expectations during EBP implementation.