Evidence Based Practice has many different definitions and in this essay the writer will be trying to identify what Evidence Based Practice is and why it is important for nursing practice. The writer will also explore whether there are any barriers in the implementation of Evidence Based Practice.
Evidence Based Practice is a process which is generally used to describe research strategies. These research strategies allow clinicians to collate the most up to date knowledge, which enables them to make decisions about the care of individual patients. Evidence Based Practice is considered to be a useful approach in the improvement of medicine and health care provided to patients. McClarey and Duff (1997), cited in Holloway and Freshwater (2007 p27) stated that nursing traditionally works towards improving patient care and outcomes by using scientific evidence.
Sackett et al (1996 p71-72) reports that clinical practices become out dated quickly, so therefore it is imperative that new evidence is drawn up to allow growth within the health care setting. It is also essential that patient preferences are taken into account within the decision-making process, as it allows the patient to make an informed choice about the care or care options available to them. Sackett et al (1996), states that many references of Evidence Based Practice highlight the fact that a compassionate use of individual patient’s rights and preferences should inevitably be taken into account during the research process. Kings College London (2011) agrees that although clinical expertise is vital, it is the combination of this knowledge together with the individual patient’s values and expectations that concludes the decision.
Evidence Based Practice is an essential tool in nursing as it helps clinicians work to the best of their ability and knowledge in ensuring that the patient is receiving or has been advised about the best available treatment to them. Some patients may decide to decline the medication or treatment offered to them and although their autonomy should always be respected, they should always be informed of their choices. Professionally, Evidence Based Practice is paramount to nursing staff to enable them to achieve clinical effectiveness, which in turn allows the patient to receive the best possible outcome, whenever possible.
EBNP (2003) explains that Evidence Based Practice is a continuous research process which includes five elements to consider. Primarily the first stage of Evidence Based Practice is the ‘question’, otherwise known as the hypothesis and the recognition of the need for updated information....