If you want to solve a priority clinical problem using the best research evidence out there, you & your team have at least a couple of options:
1) You can DIY (do it yourself), which means finding, critiquing, synthesizing, and translating the research into clinical practice recommendations: OR
2) You can take advantage of experts’ work by finding evidence-based clinical practice guidelines that you can simply adopt or adapt to your setting.
Either option is good, but in this post I want to focus on option #2: Evidence-based practice guidelines.
What are practice guidelines? Clinical practice guidelines are “systematically developed statements” that help RNs, other providers, and patients to decide on the best course of care. When the guideline authors use research to write them, then we call them evidence-based practice guidelines (http://www.agreetrust.org/resource-centre/practice-guidelines/).
What’s the advantage? In evidence-based practice guidelines, experts have already done the hard work of finding, critiquing, synthesizing, and translating the research into practice recommendations for you. You need only to adopt or adapt them to fit your setting, and establish a regular review time to make sure they are supporting excellent care and still in date.
Where can you find EBP practice guidelines to adopt or adapt? A few places are:
- National Guidelines Clearinghouse (http://www.guideline.gov/) – your tax dollars support this site—get your money’s worth!
- Cochrane Reviews (http://www.cochrane.org/cochrane-reviews)
- The Joanna Briggs Institute (http://joannabriggs.org/)
- Professional nursing organizations, like Emergency Nurses Association (http://www.ena.org/practice-research/research/cpg/Pages/Default.aspx) or Oncology Nursing Society (https://www.ons.org/practice-resources/pep), or lots of others
- Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com/schhp?hl=en) may pick up on others that may not have been through quite as much rigorous review, but might work for you.
- Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) (http://www.ihi.org/topics/Pages/default.aspx) has not only EBP guidelines, but practical tools for patients and providers.
Consider “bookmarking” these sites or adding them to your “favorites” in your internet browser.
You may even find multiple guidelines on your subject. Then you and your team get to choose the one that BEST fits your setting & solves the clinical problem! How cool is that? (Note: The gold standard for critiquing guideline quality is the AGREE II tool, but ….more on that another day.)
Critical thinking exercise
- Go to National Guidelines Clearinghouse.
- Search for “family presence during resuscitation”
- Look at the ENA clinical practice recommendations on that page and see how strong the evidence is to support each one. (You can also take a look at the process of guideline development & the research used to support it.)
- Then decide how might you adopt or adapt one of those recommendations in your own setting?
- Have an informal conversation with a colleague about your thoughts on this.
If you can use one or more of the recommendations, you have now brought more research evidence into your practice. Congratulations!!