An Introduction into Evidence-Based Practice
Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a process, a clinical master tool, so to speak, used by the nurse who is focused on positive outcomes in patient care. Registered Nurses (RNs), that assume a leadership role, continuously assess their practice in order to find out what is working and what is lacking or in need of more information (Barry, 2014). The RN who uses EBP strives to prevent healthcare errors, critically thinking through processes and anticipating obstacles, methodically drawing upon clinical research and expertise, including their own knowledge and drawing upon the individual patient experience toward improving safety and quality care (Barry, 2014). This systematic approach sets the RN apart from others, who may otherwise be tempted to remain stuck in old ineffective routines, and allows the RN the unique opportunity to affect change, most importantly, change that is directed toward keeping patients safe and receiving the best quality care (Barry, 2014).
The Evolution of Evidence-Based Practice
The EBP movement began with the portrayal of a problem, describing a gap in practice between what is known, what we actually do in practice and how this gap in knowledge affects the way we care for our patients (Stevens, 2013). The roots of EBP could have originated from the teachings of Florence Nightingale, who, quite literally, seems to have given direction on how to go about utilizing the practice of EBP before the term was even common in her book, Notes on Nursing, What it Is and What It Is Not, as quoted by author, Lim Fidelindo in his article, Pearls: Why Florence Nightingale Still Matters (Fidelindo, 2011). Florence Nightingale’s belief, that ...
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...urse of clinical action for their patients and they do this by utilizing EBP (The EBP Optometry Project, 2013). EBP has been adopted by other professions in healthcare as well such as psychology and speech pathology (The EBP Optometry Project, 2013).
It is incumbent upon the nurse to remember that the patient, having dignity and top priority to the nurse, will benefit from the use of EBP. The nurse should incorporate EBP at all times, incorporating the nursing process. Further, all healthcare disciplines may benefit from the use of EBP, improving patient outcomes in all areas of healthcare and, with the adoption of facility policy and government reporting, this will ensure and safeguard the relationship between EBP and patient safety. This is a goal that our first great teacher of nursing, Florence Nightingale, intended for us to embrace and understand.
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