Report: nurse execs support evidence-based practice but lack funding for it

EBP will drive higher quality care, chief nursing executives say in a survey by Elsevier and The OSU College of Nursing

Evidence-based Practice (EBP) is a problem-solving approach to clinical decision-making in health care that integrates the best evidence from well-designed studies with a clinician's expertise. It includes internal evidence from patient assessments and practice data, and a patient's preference and values.

A National Survey & Forum for Nurse Executives: Leveraging Evidence-Based Practice to Enhance Healthcare Quality, Reliability, Patient Outcomes and Cost Containment Chief Nursing Executives (CNEs) see EBP as a driver of higher quality care, safety and improved patient outcomes, yet only a small percentage of their budgets are allocated to EBP.

This is just one of the findings presented in a landmark national leadership advisory report by Elsevier Clinical Solutions in partnership with The Ohio State University College of Nursing and its Center for Transdisciplinary Evidence-Based Practice.

The report — A National Survey & Forum for Nurse Executives: Leveraging Evidence-Based Practice to Enhance Healthcare Quality, Reliability, Patient Outcomes and Cost Containment — aimed to better understand the reality and perceptions of CNEs on evidence-based practice, findings and outcomes. It was the result of "a quest to see evidence-based principles and practices understood, applied, lived and sustained throughout the healthcare system."

Based on the key findings from the survey and their implications for nursing leadership, a national forum for CNEs was held at the annual national conference of the American Organization for Nurse Executives (AONE) in 2014. During the conference, the study's findings were shared with the approximately 150 nurse leaders/executives in attendance, and strategic action tactics for next steps were developed.

Among other key findings from the report:

  • Although CNEs' beliefs in the value of EBP are strong, their implementation of EBP is relatively low.
  • More than 50 percent of CNEs believe that EBP is practiced in their organization from "not at all" to "somewhat."
  • There is an inadequate amount of EBP mentors in healthcare systems to work on EBP with direct care staff and create sustainable EBP cultures/environments.
  • Although CNEs reported top priorities are quality and safety, EBP is rated as a low priority.

Kathy Wyngarden, MSN, RN, FNPKathy Wyngarden, Director of the Elsevier CPM International Consortium, said  the survey results contrast with how nurse executives regard EBP in theory, and that change needs to start with leadership and cascade downward. She stated:

Healthcare organizations must be committed to establishing and supporting a culture of evidence-based practices throughout the organization, from front-line caregivers to managers and executive leaders, to truly improve healthcare quality and patient outcomes. Together with The OSU College of Nursing and its Center for Transdisciplinary Evidence-Based Practice, Elsevier is committed to applying and doing the work necessary to have evidenced-based practice be the standard for healthcare and recognize the critical role nursing leadership plays as a partner on this quest.

Recommendations for an action plan

The report included several recommendations as priorities for a CNE action plan to create, support, promote and sustain a culture of EBP. Among them:

  • Align EBP as a cost-effective foundation for patient safety and quality, leveraging data for interprofessional evidence-based planning, decision-making, and process improvements.
  • Establish a business case, budget and resources to prioritize EBP as a strategic imperative.
  • Provide EBP mentor coaches; integrate EBP into orientation, continuing education, daily interprofessional proactive activities such as rounds, patient care conferences, councils and communications.
  • Provide evidence-based tools and resources to interprofessional team members in the electronic health record (EHR) to keep EBP in the forefront of patient care processes.

The report was issued through the Elsevier CPM Resource Center, which has been on a nearly three-decade journey to transform healthcare at the point of care. You can download it here.


Elsevier Connect Contributor

Christopher Capot

As Director of Corporate Relations, Christopher Capot (@Chris_Capot) heads up public relations for Elsevier's Health Sciences division. He has been a public relations and media relations professional at agencies and corporations for more than 10 years. Prior to that, he was an award-winning newspaper journalist, last working as a business reporter at the New Haven Register in Connecticut. He works in Elsevier's New York office.

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