The Pulse | Thursday, July 12, 2018
The Approach to Evidence-Based Practice
Editor’s note: This interview originally appeared on SGNA’s The Bottom Line in June of 2017.
Kathy Baker, Ph.D., RN, ACNS-BC, FAAN, is well-versed on the topic of evidence-based research. Along with being Associate Professor, Division Director, Graduate Nursing Studies & Scholarship, Baker is the Deputy Director, Center for Evidence-Based Practice & Research: A Collaborating Center of The Joanna Briggs Institute. As professionals in GI search for the right approach to evidence-based practice, we get Baker’s opinion on the primary steps that should be taken, and how to face typical challenges along the way.
Q: How would you define the term Evidence-Based Practice and what it means to the field of GI?
Kathy: I like Guyatt et al.s’ (2008) definition of evidence-based “medicine” best, but I think it definitely applies to nursing practice. It says, “The conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. Evidence-based clinical practice requires integration of individual clinical expertise and patient preference with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research and consideration of available resources.” Emphasize critical thinking, clinical expertise, patient preference and systematic research findings as the underpinnings for evidence-based practice.
Q: For those looking to get started with Evidence-Based Practice, what would you suggest as the primary first steps to take?
Kathy: I think one of the most important steps is improving your library skills along with your research critique skills. It is important to know where to find credible evidence and how to evaluate whether evidence is credible, of high quality and sufficient to direct practice.
Q: What are some of the greatest challenges (or obstacles) to Evidence-Based Practice?
Kathy: Besides the need for confidence in the skills I’ve listed above, nurses have reported that their biggest obstacles are lack of time to find and review the evidence, as well as lack of support by administrators and peers to implement best evidence when that means practice has to change. Change takes energy, effort, money and other resources, so implementing change, even change that is warranted by credible evidence is not always embraced by the healthcare system.
Q: In what ways should GI professionals continue to stay on the cutting edge of this practice?
Kathy: GI nurses and associates should be constantly asking themselves, “What does the evidence say?” when determining best GI practices. Staying abreast of practice guidelines that are based on current, credible evidence, as determined by our national healthcare organizations; attending local professional meetings and regional/national conferences to be exposed to best practices and current evidence; reading Gastroenterology Nursing and other GI-oriented peer-reviewed journals; and participating in the SGNA Fellows or Scholars programs are all ways to stay on the cutting edge of evidence-based prac