Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) in nursing is defined as the thorough, clear, and thoughtful use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. “Best evidence” means incorporating scientific evidence from well-conducted clinical studies, including randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses, when available. When best evidence is not available, practitioners must rely on their own clinical expertise and judgment. EBP also requires the integration of patient preferences and values into decision-making. The goal of Evidence-Based Practice in nursing is to improve patient outcomes by using the best available research evidence to guide decision making. Conversely, a critical care nursing environment is one in which nurses provide care to patients who are critically ill or injured. This type of environment typically includes intensive care units (ICUs), emergency departments (EDs), and trauma centers. In the critical care environment, Evidence-Based Practice ensures better patient outcomes through the usage of the best available evidence, cost-saving, and shared and up-to-date decision making.
EBP allows for the most up-to-date information to be used in clinical decision-making. Critical care nurses must be able to make decisions quickly in order to save lives. The best way to make informed decisions is through the use of Evidence-Based Practice (Ellis, 2019). This allows for the most current information to be used in clinical decision-making. There are many sources of evidence that can be used in critical care, including research studies, clinical experience, and the opinions of experts. However, not all of these sources are equal; the best evidence comes from research studies that have been conducted using a scientific methodology. Clinical experience is important, but it can be misleading if not interpreted correctly (Ellis, 2019). Similarly, the opinions of experts can be helpful, but they may not always be based on the best evidence. By using evidence-based practices, clinicians can be sure that they are providing their patients with the best possible care. Additionally, reducing variability in care can help improve patient outcomes.
Moreover, critical care nurses need to be aware of and use the most current evidence-based practices (EBPs) to provide the best possible care for their patients. EBPs are practices that have been determined through research to be effective in providing patient care. Nurses may also need to advocate for their patients and promote the use of EBPs when decisions about patient care are being made (Ellis, 2019). Patients in critical care often require treatments that are based on scientific evidence, such as pharmacologic therapies, mechanical ventilation, and nutrition support. When these treatments are provided in accordance with EBPs, they have been shown to result in better patient outcomes.
The evidence-based Practice encourages shared decision-making whenever possible, thus ensuring the best treatment options. Critical care nurses must always be able to provide the best evidence-based care to their patients. Evidence-based Practice is the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. It means integrating clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research (Grove & Gray, 2018). When EBP is practiced in a critical care setting, it encourages shared decision-making whenever possible. Informed consent and shared decision-making are enhanced when nurses use EBP to provide clear information about treatment options and their associated risks and benefits.
Furthermore, critical care nurses who use EBP are better able to make recommendations that reflect their patients’ individualized needs and preferences. Similarly, EBP is particularly important in the critical care setting, where decisions must be made quickly and often with limited information. In these situations, EBP can help clinicians make informed decisions that are based on precise and accurate evidence. For example, EBP can help clinicians choose the most effective treatments for their patients, prevent errors, and reduce costs (LoBiondo-Wood & Haber, 2021). Moreover, EBP provides a framework for making well-reasoned, research-backed decisions about care protocols that can ensure that the patients receive the safest healthcare.
Conversely, in critical care environments, EBP helps in cost saving due to accurate diagnosis and treatment among patients. Cost-saving is one of the key driving factors for the implementation of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) in critical care environments. By accurate diagnosis and treatment, EBPs can help reduce length of stay (LOS), morbidity and mortality rates, as well as re-admission rates. In addition, EBP can decrease the chance of complications arising from incorrect treatments, which may end up being more expensive than when the treatment was guessed (Grove & Gray, 2018). It has been shown that patient outcomes improve when care is based on the best evidence available combined with the clinicians’ expertise and patient preferences. EBP also helps reduce unnecessary tests and procedures, which not only saves money but also helps protect patients from irrelevant health plans that can put patients at risk, such as surgery.
Additionally, critical care places great demands on resources, so it is important that these are used in the most effective way possible. Implementing EBP can lead to more efficient resource use and improved patient outcomes, both clinically and cost-effectiveness. Similarly, it identifies new and more cost-effective treatments as well as promotes better patient adherence to treatment plans (LoBiondo-Wood & Haber, 2021). Ultimately, by relying on sound scientific evidence, clinicians are able to make informed decisions that result in better patient outcomes and reduced costs.
Evidence-Based Practice helps to ensure that patients receive the highest quality of care possible in critical care environments. There are a few ways that Evidence-Based Practice can help ensure quality health care. First, physicians can appraise the literature to determine validity and applicability. This means looking at the research to see if it is reliable and relevant (Ellis, 2019). Then they can use this information to make informed decisions about patient care. Second, Evidence-Based Practice promotes the dissemination of best practices; this means that clinicians have access to the latest information on treatments and procedures so they can provide patients with the most effective care possible. Finally, Evidence-Based Practice helps ensure continuity of care (Grove & Gray, 2018). When clinicians use the same evidence-based approach for each patient, it allows for a more collaborative relationship between provider and patient and ultimately results in better health care.
In conclusion, Evidence-Based Practice has much importance in providing better healthcare to patients in the critical care environment. It helps in ensuring that the patients receive better and more up-to-date healthcare options that facilitate faster healing. EBP also helps in reducing the treatment cost for the patients in the critical care environment; this is by the provision of accurate diagnosis and treatment, thus preventing wastage of resources. Likewise, it also saves time and patients’ health from unnecessary treatment out of guessing, which can end up complicating a patient’s health.
Ellis, P. (2019). Evidence-based practice in nursing. Learning Matters.
Grove, S. K., & Gray, J. R. (2018). Understanding nursing research e-book: Building an evidence-based practice. Elsevier Health Sciences.
LoBiondo-Wood, G., & Haber, J. (2021). Nursing research e-book: Methods and critical appraisal for evidence-based practice. Elsevier Health Sciences.