Evidence-based practice (EBP) has become a buzzword in medicine. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), “Health care decisions are increasingly being made on research-based evidence rather than on expert opinion or clinical experience alone.” Yet, evidence-based medicine is still a completely unfamiliar concept to some clinicians.
EBP is traditionally defined in terms of a “three-legged stool” integrating three basic principles: the best available research evidence bearing on whether and why a treatment works, clinical expertise (clinical judgment and experience) to rapidly identify each patient’s unique health state and diagnosis, their individual risks and benefits of potential interventions, and client preferences and values.
Pressure toward EBP has come from public and private health insurance providers, which have sometimes refused coverage of practices lacking in systematic evidence of usefulness.
Research, Why Bother?
- Integrating the most current evidence into clinical practice can improve patient outcomes.
- Recognize and break down barriers to improve your evaluation skills and apply personal research.
Evidence Based Practice enables the health care professional to:
- Learn more about the scientific basis for health management.
- Make informed decisions regarding patient care.
- Improve patient outcomes.
Steps of Evidence-Based Practice for the Researcher:
Steps of knowledge transfer in the AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) model represent three major stages
- Knowledge creation and distillation: Conducting research (with expected variation in readiness for use in health care delivery systems) and then packaging relevant research findings into products that can be put into action—such as specific practice recommendations—thereby increasing the likelihood that research evidence will find its way into practice.
- Diffusion and dissemination: Involves partnering with professional opinion leaders and healthcare organizations to disseminate knowledge that can form the basis of action to potential users.
- Dissemination partnerships link researchers with intermediaries that can function as knowledge brokers and connectors to the practitioners and health care delivery organizations.
- Intermediaries can be professional organizations such as the National Athletic Trainers Association.
- Organizational adoption and implementation: This is the final stage of the knowledge transfer process. This stage focuses on getting organizations, teams, and individuals to adopt and consistently use evidence-based research findings and innovations in everyday practice.
Understanding the process and applying the knowledge will positively impact your practice and your patients’ outcomes. EBP CEUs lay the foundation for not only a library of clinical knowledge but the ability to develop that knowledge oneself.
Interested in EBP CEU courses?