Evidence-Based Practice
On occasion, some processes have crept into nursing and medical practice without appropriate evidence to back up their use. For example, consider tetanus shots. In the past, tetanus shots were given to patients who stepped on a rusty nail. It was assumed—at the time—that if the nail was rusty, it must have had some contact with the barnyard soil outside, which meant that it would be contaminated with bacteria. For a while this thinking made sense. As time went on, however, tetanus shots continued to be given to patients who cut themselves on rusty objects, regardless of where the rusty object had come from. And, of course, fewer and fewer people lived within close proximity to barnyards and associated contamination.
As this week’s examples highlight, not all practices that nurses engage in are tied to evidence. For this reason, clinical decision support (CDS) systems have been created. CDS systems support the decision-making tasks of nursing professionals. As the nurse inputs patient information into the CDS system, evidence-based content is provided back to the nurse. The nurse can then combine this content with their own nursing knowledge to diagnose and treat the patient. One of the most useful characteristics of CDS systems is that they are available during the point of care. No longer do nursing professionals have to consult thick research books; a great deal of information can be accessed with a few strategic clicks!.
In this Discussion, you continue to explore CDS systems. In addition, you investigate whether or not a health care practice with which you are familiar is grounded in evidence-based practice.
To prepare:
Review this week’s Learning Resources and consider how nurses can determine if they are using evidence-based practices in patient care.
Select one health care practice (e.g., using alcohol swabs before giving an injection) with which you are familiar. Conduct research to determine if this practice is grounded in research.
Consider how a clinical decision support system provides evidence-based content to its users.
What are the benefits and challenges of using CDS systems? How can this assist nurses in providing evidence-based care to their patients?
Post by tomorrow 8/2/16 55 words in APA format with 3 references from the list below. Include the level one headings as followed:
1) A description of the health care practice you selected.
2) Explain whether the evidence you found supports or opposes the practice and whether you believe this process is grounded in evidence-based practice.
3) Next, explain how informatics technologies, such as CDS systems, can facilitate nurses moving toward evidence-based practices. Justify your response.
Required Resources
Saba, V. K., & McCormick, K. A. (2015). Essentials of nursing informatics (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Chapter 39, “Translation of Evidence Into Nursing Practice”
Evidence-based practice (EBP) synthesizes nursing research with decisions and processes in the practice setting. The chapter introduces current issues and topics related to EBP, including meaningful use, the expansion of practice networks, the use of comparative effectiveness research (CER), and the emergence of electronic EBP tools.
Chapter 40, “Improving Healthcare Quality and Patient Outcomes Through the Integration of Evidence-Based Practice and Informatics”
This chapter details the importance of evidence-based practice (EBP) in health care. The chapter discusses steps in EBP, barriers and facilitators to EBP, and the roles that technology and decision support play in EBP.
Chapter 41, “Incorporating Evidence: Use of Computer-Based Clinical Decision Support Systems for Health Professionals”
In this chapter, the authors explore the use of clinical decision support systems (CDSS) in health care. The authors outline the definition and history of CDSS as well as the future of CDSS in health care.
Starmer, J. M., Pinson, C. W., & Lorenzi, N. M. (2010). Informatics and evidence-based medicine: Prescription for success. Studies in Health Technology & Informatics, 160, 656–660.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
This article explains a case study of how one organization developed and implemented an informatics system to improve health care quality. The ways this organization used informatics to incorporate evidence-based practice across many aspects of care is discussed.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012c). Evidence-based content. Baltimore: Author.
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 7 minutes.
Gail Latimer, Dr. Patricia Button, and Dr. Roy Simpson discuss how and why informatics systems can communicate evidence-based practices to increase the quality of care given to patients. The presenters highlight nurse informaticists’ role in this endeavor, as well as key quality metrics that informaticists should be aware of.
Optional Resources
Reisner, R. (2011, June 4). Medical myths that can kill you. Retrieved from http://www.lifescript.com/health/centers/womens/articles/medical_myths_that_can_kill_you.aspx

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