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Education Plan Promotes Use of Evidence-Based Practice

Education Plan Promotes Use of Evidence-Based Practice

LAS VEGAS—A multiphase education plan can promote the use of evidence-based practice among oncology nursing staff, according to a report presented at the 32nd Annual Congress of the Oncology Nursing Society (abstract 1856).

"Among all healthcare disciplines, the value of basing healthcare practice on high-quality evidence is unchallenged, and at the Congress here we have heard again and again the importance of using evidence-based practice to encourage patient safety and patient outcomes," said lead author Cynthia J. Briola, RN, OCN, of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia.

Her institution's magnet status, she added, is another impetus to ensuring that all providers are delivering care based on the best available evidence. "We know that we do an excellent job in evidence-based practice," she said. "However, we want to really be sure we are doing a good job with all of the nurses being able to use evidence-based practice at the bedside."

In 2005, the Evidence-Based Practice Council at the center formulated an education plan to promote use of this practice by nurses, Ms. Briola said. The plan's goals were to support a culture shift from traditional toward evidence-based practice, to educate nurses about the principles of this type of practice, to increase their comfort in accessing evidence-based practice resources, and to promote incorporation of evidence into their clinical practice.

Four Phases

The plan had four phases and certain built-in requirements, she said: "It was to be mandatory for all RNs. It was to accommodate all shifts. It needed to be easily accessible. And we needed to figure out how to educate future nursing staff."

In phase I of the plan, started in January 2006, a nurse educator gave an overview of evidence-based practice principles, Ms. Briola said. The nurse educator described evidence-based practice, explained why it was important to integrate it into care, offered examples of questions to study, identified relevant resources at the center, showed how to search the available information, and defined the levels of evidence and gave examples.

In phase II, members of the center's Evidence-Based Practice Council guided small groups of nurses through six poster presentations of evidence-based projects. They used a question-and-answer format to stimulate discussion on topics such as the resources used; the level of evidence reviewed; the literature search strategies used; the type of evidence (qualitative vs quantitative) evaluated; and the presence of so-called PICOT elements (P, patient population of interest; I, intervention of interest; C, comparison of interest; O, outcome of interest; and T, time frame).

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