Evidence-informed practice: simplifying and applying the concept for nursing students and academics

Elizabeth Adjoa Kumah, Robert McSherry, Josette Bettany-Saltikov, Paul Van Schaik

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Abstract

Background: Nurses’ ability to effectively apply evidence into practice is a critical factor in the delivery of quality patient care. Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) is recognized as the gold standard for the delivery of safe and effective person-centred care. Yet, after several decades of its inception, nurses continue to encounter difficulties in implementing the concept. Existing models for implementing EBP offer stepwise approaches, nevertheless, certain factors, such as the context of care and its mechanistic nature act as barriers to the effective and consistent implementation of EBP. It is, therefore, imperative that a solution to solving the way in which evidence is applied into practice is found. Evidence-Informed Practice (EIP) is an evolving concept. In recent times, there has been a focus on EIP as an alternative to EBP. This has generated an international debate as to which of the two concepts better facilitate the application of evidence into practice. While several EBP models and educational interventions exist, there is limited research directed towards understanding the concept of EIP and how it facilitates the application of evidence into clinical nursing practice. Aim: This article aims at clarifying the concept of EIP and provides an integrated systems-based model of EIP in facilitating the application of evidence into clinical nursing practice. This is achieved through the application of two nursing case scenarios. Case scenario 1 is about caring for a high-dependent patient and case scenario 2 involves a patient with a low white blood cell count. Method: this article takes the reader through the various factors, elements, and associated systems and processes of the EIP model. Results: The case scenarios detail the various factors and elements of the EIP model and defines how it facilitates the application of evidence into clinical nursing practice. Conclusion: The EIP model provides a framework for nurses (indeed all healthcare practitioners) to deliver clinically effective care, and to be able to defend the processes used and the service provided by referring to reliable evidence.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages81
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 7 Jan 2020

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