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EBP... Who Cares?

Using the best available evidence to guide clinical decision making when providing health care is clearly important to achieving the best patient outcomes, but who is watching and who cares? The answer... EVERYONE!

For example, the American Nurses Association states that, "when you use the principles of evidence-based practice in nursing to make decisions about your patient's care, it results in better outcomes, higher satisfaction, and reduced costs" (ANA, 2023, Not only do hospital accreditation bodies (e.g., The Joint Commission, Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program) require evidence-based practice, payers such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid also require the use of the best available evidence for patient care.

This begs the question... how can those providing patient care not only find time, but also have access to databases for the evidence, in order to meet this directive? For example, the ANA describes the EBP process as:

  1. Ask a clear question about the patient's issue and determine an ultimate goal, such as improving a procedure to help their specific condition. 

  2. Acquire the best evidence by searching relevant clinical articles from legitimate sources.

  3. Appraise the resources gathered to determine if the information is valid, of optimal quality compared to the evidence levels, and relevant for the patient.

  4. Apply the evidence to clinical practice by making decisions based on your nursing expertise and the new information.

  5. Assess outcomes to determine if the treatment was effective and should be considered for other patients.

It's a lot, we know. Perhaps there is an answer that helps not only the hospitals meet these mandates but also the care providers to use the best available evidence. The answer may be a partnership. The PNW College of Nursing is an academic institution with faculty trained in Comprehensive Systematic Review methodology, meaning we have faculty who are trained to search, appraise, and synthesize evidence. We have access to almost every database related to health care. We have the experience and resources, hospitals have the need. We are working on a plan to partner with hospitals to help bring the best available evidence to the bedside in order to improve patient care outcomes. Stay tuned for updates on this endeavor!


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