Nurses and Librarians, Partnering for Better Patient Outcomes

How visible is your institution's librarian? Does your librarian participate in your leadership meetings, your unit council meetings or your journal club meetings? Does your librarian make rounds on a routine basis with the nursing staff and does she teach you how to do searches, and what the difference is between literature reviews and systematic reviews?

That is exactly what Diane Rourke, MS, AHIP, Director of Library Services at the Baptist Health South Florida Hospital System and Donna Flake, MSLS, MSAS, AHIP, Library Director of the North Carolina SEAHAC Hospital System do. At the Medical Librarian Association Meeting in Washington, DC this past week, Donna Flake presented: Going Beyond the Library to Integrate Your Resources into the Nurses' Environment and Diane Rourke presented: Supporting Today's Magnet Journey in Nursing. Diane is the MLA delegate to the American Nurses Credentialling Center's Magnet Certification Program. 

The role of the library is changing. No longer is the library thought of as this room where you go to search through books and journals.  Now the library is a living entity that is accessible through workstations on wheels in every nursing unit. Librarians can assist nurses with the finding the evidence-based research that supports practice change. Hospital systems that are integrating evidence-based, best practice at point of care, have found that the librarian-nurse partnership has the potential to positively impact nursing practice and patient outcomes. 

For more information on this topic, please join us at a webinar on June 30th at 1pm. Just go to to register.

By  Anne Dabrow Woods, MSN, RN, CRNP, ANP-BC

Posted: 5/10/2011 1:40:14 PM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 1 comments

Categories: Evidence-Based Practice

One thing is certain...diabetes care is constantly changing

It's amazing to me how quickly best practices change in how we manage some of the most common diagnoses today. For years we've been placing type 2 diabetics on insulin sensitizers like Avandia or Actos to help normalize their blood glucose levels. We did it because the evidence pointed us in that direction.  But now the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently reviewing the insulin sensitizer, Avandia manufactured by Glaxo SmithKline. Avandia has recently been linked to an increase risk of heart attack as compared with other antidiabetic drugs however, the research is not sufficient to indicate that Avandia increases the chance of death. For many of us who have used Avandia for years to help control our patient's diabetes, this information may come as a surprise.  So what are healthcare professionals to do? For many patients, this class of drug works well for them. Do we take our patients off this drug due to this latest information?  

As with all areas of healthcare, we need to be careful that one study does not change the way we practice. Instead we need to make sure that a rigorous systematic review was done to develop the practice recommendations that drive our care.   For starters, we can follow the recommendations from the American Diabetes Association, the Endocrine Society, and other well known and respected diabetes associations in addition to the FDA. It's important we stay up to date with latest advances in evidence-based care and bring those interventions to our our patients, not interventions based on  anecdotal findings. We need to view this issue with Avandia as an opportunity to take another look at the evidence and then decide what we should do with our patients.   

One thing is certain - diabetes care is constantly changing.

By Anne Dabrow Woods, MSN, RN, CRNP, ANP-BC

Posted: 7/14/2010 1:17:28 PM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 0 comments

Categories: Evidence-Based Practice

Lancet retracts MMR vaccine and autism risk paper

Earlier this week, Lancet retracted an article published by Dr. Andrew Wakefield in 1998 which stated the MMR vaccine could increase childrens risk of developing autism.  "According to the judgment of the U.K. General Medical Council's Fitness to Practice Panel on January 28, 2010, it has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al, are incorrect in particular the claims in the original paper that children were consecutively referred and that investigations were approved by the local ethics committee have been proven to be false. Therefore, we fully retract this paper from the publishing record."

While numerous studies following this paper reported that there wasn't a relationship between the MMR vaccine and Autism, the damage was already done. This study resulted in parents not having their children vaccinated and led to an outbreak of measles in the U.S. in 2008 and an increase in disease in the U.K. Too often lay persons and clinicians accept the results of one study as being enough to change assumptions and practice.  As nurses we need to educate our peers and the public that research must be reviewed for validity and accuracy.  Just because something is published, doesn't make it good science. We must use established evidence-based and best practice resources to guide our practice. Cochrane Systematic Reviews, the Joanna Briggs Institute, and other established evidence-based practice resources and journals can help us improve practice and improve outcomes.  What resources are you or your facility using to improve patient outcomes?

By Anne Dabrow Woods, MSN, RN, CRNP, ANP-BC

Posted: 2/3/2010 1:19:14 PM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 2 comments

Categories: Evidence-Based Practice

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