Changes in local and national policies and guidelines, improvements in pharmaceuticals and medical technologies, and the care delivery pressure from society force nurses to apply new evidence-based practice in their work. Professionals currently provide health care on the basis of reliable research of evidence, experience, and medical expertise. The purpose of this paper is to identify evidence-based practice and its correlation with best practices concerning health care safety, examine the National Patient Safety Goals, and investigate the importance of evidence-based practice and its individual influence on the practice of a registered nurse.
The changing standards of patient safety and the development of innovative approaches to health care pressure registered nurses to have the latest reliable information to provide highly effective health care. This issue may be solved by integrating expanding research with evidence-based knowledge concerning biological, environmental, and behavioral features that influence health, into patients’ care. Evidence-based practice is defined as “the collection, evaluation, and integration of valid research evidence,” and it is combined with an understanding of patient’s values and preferences and clinical expertise to provide the most favorable decision-making (LoBiondo-Wood & Haber, 2018, p. 6).
In other words, published studies from the literature are gathered, investigated, and evaluated to be applied to nursing practice. Evidence-based practice allows nurses to use the most appropriate evidence, combine it with an individual clinical expertise and patient’s peculiarities to decide if, how, and when to apply this information to their work.
Evidence-based practice correlates to best practices in nursing to improve the safety of patients. In general, best practices are regarded as specific techniques and methodologies that are based on medical research and experience.
Similar to evidence-based practice, these methods are used to ensure the desired results of nursing. A commitment to best practices in any field of medicine supposes the implementation of all knowledge at health care professional’s disposal for highly effective medical performance. Best practices include reading and information search, communication with colleagues, nursing standards check, and constant learning. According to the National Patient Safety Goals that focus on health care safety problems, there is a list of actions that should be taken by registered nurses to provide the highest quality of health care.
Best Practices Defined by National Patient Safety Goals
The National Patient Safety Goals implicate that for the improvement of patient safety, registered nurses should identify patients correctly, use medicines and alarms safely, and improve staff communication. They are required to prevent infection and mistakes in surgery and identify the risks of patient safety as well. The goals support nursing best practices as they are developed on the basis of previous research on health care safety to achieve the desired results.
The elements of evidence-based practice are reflected in these prescribed actions as registered nurses should have collected evidence, evaluate the data that are gathered during their practice, and consider patients’ peculiarities. For instance, nurses are required to be aware of proven guidelines to prevent various infections and analyze new medicines for patients and compare them with old medicines during their work. Moreover, they should constantly check nursing standards concerning surgery and pay particular attention to patients who are on medication to thin blood.
Personal Influence of Evidence-Based Practice
Evidence-based practice may affect personal practice as a registered nurse in two main ways – it develops critical reading skills and accountability. As evidence-based practice is unsustainable without clinical research, data collection, and the evaluation of medical literature, nurses should increase their knowledge by the critical reading of all kinds of research articles. Critical reading and appraisal skills help to extract assumptions, main concepts, and methods from texts and synthesize findings to use examined research in evidence-based practice afterward. The combination of intensive study, skill improvement, attention to patients’ values, and the implementation of gained knowledge into practice positively affect accountability that is regarded as one of the fundamental concepts of the nursing profession.
In recent years, the culture of scrutiny has substantively increased in the work performance of health care professionals. Nurses are currently forced by the government agenda to justify all their decisions for patients by reliable knowledge. It is not allowed for them to claim that nurses know what is most suitable for their patients due to their profession. Health care professionals experience severe criticism in the case of any mistake as society is assured that clinicians totally know how to provide effective medical assistance. The use of reliable, current, and evidence-based practices is highly important as the combination of knowledge from multiple sources and examined methods helps to make the nursing practice straight and understandable for society.
Registered nurses currently apply evidence-based practice in their work that combines valid research evidence with the implementation of received knowledge into practice. Evidence-based practice correlates to best practices in nursing to improve the safety of patients. According to the National Patient Safety Goals, there is a list of actions that should be taken by registered nurses to deliver health care effectively. The goals support nursing best practices as they are developed on the basis of previous research on health care safety to achieve the desired results. The evidence-based practice affects personal practice as it develops critical reading skills and accountability.
The use of evidence-based practice is highly significant as the combination of knowledge from multiple sources that are subsequently applied to health care makes the nursing practice straight and understandable for society.
LoBiondo-Wood, G., & Haber, J. (2018). Nursing research: Methods and critical appraisal for evidence-based practice (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.