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What is Evidence-Based Care?

Career News August 4, 2013

Evidence-based care, or evidence-based practice, as it is sometimes called is a complicated term to define. Essentially, the definition is the process that it describes. Using evidence-based care allows doctors and nurses to provide the best possible care for their patients, while involving everyone in the process. In the past few years, there has been a resurgence of interest in evidence-based nursing, according to the Indiana Center for Evidence Based Nursing Practice. Learn more about what the steps involved and how anyone can implement evidence-based care in their daily nursing duties.

Asking Questions

According to the University of Minnesota Nursing Program, formulating questions are the first step in evidence-based care. Some of these questions are simple, and the answers easily found while others may be more complex. These questions will have to do with how the condition came about, what it is doing to the patient and how it may be typically treated.

Answering Questions

Quite logically, after the questions have been determined, the next step is answering them. The doctor, nurse or other medical practitioner can seek out solutions to these questions by researching. There are, of course, many great resources for medical research including speaking with other professionals, reading reputable medical journals and some forms of online research.

Evaluate Information

After there is a selection of possible answers for the questions, this evidence must be evaluated. Quite often, there may be several different answers to the same question. These answers must be studied to determine why you should choose one answer over the other. Things you may consider would be:

  • Quality of Research Sources
  • Levels of Treatment
  • Risks of Treatment
  • Costs of Treatment
  • Speed of Treatment

Applying Information

After the evidence has been sorted and the less-desirable eliminated, practitioners can determine how to apply this information or possible treatments to solve the problem or meet the specific situation. Before this step is invoked, it is important to double check all research, verify the validity of the patient’s diagnosis and discuss how the treatments could affect the patient. At this point when every person involved in the treatment process is on the same page, the application is made.

Re-evaluate the Information

This is a step often deemed unimportant, but that is one of the most vital. After the patient is provided care, the medical practitioner needs to assess the results of the treatment and determine whether it was successful. It is also important that the caregiver make note as to whether the information could be useful to others in the field, or their own future work.

As you can see, there are many steps that one must go through when practicing evidence-based care nursing. Breaking it down into these simple ideas makes a task that seems daunting a bit easier and will help with nearly any type of medical situation.

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