Last month, I had the pleasure of attending a webinar on evidence-based practice (EBP) hosted by our own Anne Dabrow Woods, MSN, RN, CRNP, ANP-BC. Anne brought the concept of evidence-based practice into a whole new light for me with this simple equation:
Research + Clinical Expertise + Patient Preference = EBP
One research study is not sufficient to support change in practice. Nor are three research studies, or 10, or 100… Solid research is only one piece of the puzzle. Three components are essential to true EBP and are critical to improve outcomes and quality of life:
1. External evidence includes systematic reviews, randomized control trials, best practice, and clinical practice guidelines that support a change in clinical practice.
2. Internal evidence includes health care institution based quality improvement projects, outcome management initiatives, and clinical expertise.
3. Accounting for patient preferences and values is the third component of this critical equation.
Another approach to understanding EBP is to compare what EBP isn't with what EBP is:
- EBP is NOT a research project. EBP is examination of completed research studies.
- EBP is NOT simply supporting national evidence-based practice projects. EBP is a complete review and recommendation process.
- EBP is NOT having research articles as references for policies. EBP is critical analysis of research, in the context of your organization, and with perspectives and judgment of clinicians and patients.
It's important that the care we provide is based on the latest evidence. To truly do this, we must start with an understanding of what evidence-based practice really means. There are many terms related to EBP that we should all be familiar with and I will do my best to define and explain them through my posts here on Show Me the Evidence.
Thanks for reading and be sure to let us know if you have any questions or comments!
Russell-Babin, K. (2009). Seeing through the clouds of evidence-based practice. Nursing Management, 40(11), 26-32.
Woods, A. (2011) Implementing Evidence into Practice. [Webinar] Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.