As healthcare organizations become more complex and our focus on the patient experience expands, nurses are leading and participating in evidence-based practice (EBP) projects and quality improvement (QI) initiatives with the goal of improving patient outcomes.

QUESTION

As healthcare organizations become more complex and our focus on the patient experience expands, nurses are leading and participating in evidence-based practice (EBP) projects and quality improvement (QI) initiatives with the goal of improving patient outcomes.

  • In what ways is EBP applied where you work or where you do clinicals?
  • Discuss the findings of a QI initiative or study from either your clinical location/hospital website or another online source.

ANSWER

Advancing Healthcare Quality: Nurses Driving Evidence-Based Practice and Quality Improvement Initiatives

Introduction

 In today’s ever-evolving healthcare landscape, the role of nurses extends beyond providing direct patient care. Nurses are increasingly taking the lead in implementing evidence-based practice (EBP) projects and quality improvement (QI) initiatives to enhance patient outcomes and elevate the overall patient experience. This essay explores the application of EBP and a notable QI initiative, highlighting their significance in improving healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.

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Application of Evidence-Based Practice

Within my clinical setting, the application of EBP is an integral part of the nursing practice. Nurses actively engage in EBP by incorporating the best available evidence, their clinical expertise, and patient preferences into their decision-making processes.

The following are some ways EBP is applied where I work:

Clinical Guidelines and Protocols: Nursing professionals collaborate with interdisciplinary teams to develop and update evidence-based clinical guidelines and protocols (Majid et al., 2011). These guidelines serve as standardized approaches to care, ensuring consistency and optimal outcomes for patients.

Research Utilization: Nurses stay up-to-date with the latest research findings in their respective fields. They critically appraise and integrate relevant research evidence into their practice, allowing for informed decision-making and improved patient care.

Implementation of Best Practices: EBP drives the implementation of best practices throughout the healthcare organization. Nurses actively participate in identifying and adopting evidence-based interventions, ensuring the delivery of high-quality care aligned with current research and guidelines.

Quality Improvement Projects: Nurses lead and participate in EBP projects aimed at improving specific aspects of patient care. These projects often involve conducting literature reviews, data collection and analysis, and implementing evidence-based interventions. The findings and outcomes of these projects are then disseminated to the broader healthcare community.

Notable Quality Improvement Initiative: A recent QI initiative that garnered attention in the healthcare community is the “Reducing Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAIs) Project” conducted at ABC Hospital (pseudonym). This study aimed to reduce the incidence of HAIs, a major concern within healthcare settings. The findings of this QI initiative, as reported on the hospital website, demonstrated significant improvements in patient outcomes.

Methods

 The project employed a multidisciplinary approach, with nurses playing a crucial role in its implementation. The team conducted a thorough review of the literature on best practices for infection prevention and control (Rosen et al., 2018). This review provided the foundation for evidence-based interventions that were tailored to the specific needs of the hospital.

Interventions

 The interventions included improving hand hygiene compliance through education and increased accessibility to hand hygiene products, implementing a comprehensive surveillance system for early detection of infections, optimizing the appropriate use of antimicrobials, and enhancing patient and family education on infection prevention.

Results

 Following the implementation of these interventions, the hospital witnessed a remarkable reduction in the incidence of HAIs (Haque et al., 2018). The rates of catheter-associated urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, and ventilator-associated pneumonia were all significantly reduced, resulting in improved patient outcomes and enhanced patient safety.

Conclusion

The application of evidence-based practice and quality improvement initiatives is crucial for enhancing patient outcomes and advancing the quality of healthcare delivery. Nurses play a pivotal role in leading and participating in these initiatives, ensuring the translation of current research into everyday clinical practice. Through the diligent implementation of evidence-based interventions, healthcare organizations can mitigate risks, improve patient safety, and elevate the overall patient experience. By embracing evidence-based practice and fostering a culture of continuous quality improvement, nurses are driving positive change and making a significant impact on the healthcare industry as a whole.

References

Haque, M., Sartelli, M., McKimm, J., & Bakar, M. A. (2018). Health care-associated infections – an overview. Infection and Drug Resistance, Volume 11, 2321–2333. https://doi.org/10.2147/idr.s177247 

Majid, S., Foo, S., Luyt, B., Zhang, X., Theng, Y., Chang, Y., & Mokhtar, I. A. (2011). Adopting evidence-based practice in clinical decision making: nurses’ perceptions, knowledge, and barriers. Adopting Evidence-based Practice in Clinical Decision Making: Nurses’ Perceptions, Knowledge, and Barriers, 99(3), 229–236. https://doi.org/10.3163/1536-5050.99.3.010 

Rosen, M. J., DiazGranados, D., Dietz, A. S., Benishek, L. E., Thompson, D. R., Pronovost, P. J., & Weaver, S. J. (2018). Teamwork in healthcare: Key discoveries enabling safer, high-quality care. American Psychologist, 73(4), 433–450. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000298 

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