Evidence-based practice enables health care professionals to provide high-quality care to patients based on the best available research findings. Despite its relevance, translating research evidence into practice is usually regarded as a challenging task. A major barrier to evidence translation in addressing the practice problem of patient safety is the lack of access to new evidence (Curtis, Fry, Shaban, & Considine, 2016). At the same time, the lack of qualified human resources to analyze the quality of the evidence and the lack of other resources to apply evidence are also recognized as factors hindering research evidence translation.
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It has to be stated that dissemination is central both to research and research evidence translation. Usually, participation in professional forums and education events and monitoring of new publications in peer-reviewed journals serve as common strategies that might be adopted to be aware of new evidence (Simpson, 2015). However, though being effective in raising awareness of new evidence, the methodology used when presenting research findings may not meet the needs of a particular healthcare setting. Therefore, significant attention should be paid to the methods of integration of evidence into practice concerning the environment.
Determination of which evidence to implement depends on several factors, and the main ones include its quality and the appropriateness for use in practice. The best evidence includes empirical evidence from randomized clinical trials and descriptive and qualitative research. The methodology of the evidence should apply to its integration into the particular health care setting, and the required resources and desired outcomes should be considered. To ensure the continuation of the change, the proposed solution to the selected practice problem, namely, pre-discharge medication counseling, should become the new way of working. Sustainability of the change may be maintained by sustainability models which provide for regular evaluation of the efficiency of pre-discharge medication counseling in terms of the number of hospital readmissions and drug-related problems.
The knowledge translation model which provides a framework for pre-discharge medication counseling is the Ottawa Model of Research Use. A six-step approach which the model uses will guide the implementation of the proposed solution to the practice problem of patient safety. The four main phases of the model include identification of the change leaders and agents, assessment of barriers and facilitators, monitoring of interventions and degree of use, and evaluation of outcomes.
It should be stated that the involvement of the interprofessional team in a translation of evidence is the keystone of improved patient care. Interprofessional communication and collaboration are necessary for creating and sustaining a healthy environment (Bosch & Mansell, 2015). To address the chosen practice problem, it is important to ensure that an interprofessional team consists of administrative staff, pharmacists, and the medical team. Engaging with such a team will assist the translation of best practices into the clinical area. The primary task of the team will be to develop a plan and assign each member a particular task considering his or her qualification. All the following steps in the Ottawa Model of Research Use will be performed mainly by pharmacists and the medical team (change agents) and coordinated by administrators and managers (change leaders).
Strategies that can be implemented to inspire interprofessional team members to embrace change may include the incorporation of leadership models and education of team members about the high rate of hospital readmissions and unplanned physician visits that are associated with poor medication accuracy (Fitzsimons & Vaughan, 2015). In a healthcare environment, it is crucial to establish efficiency in care, responsibility, and human relationships as key values of healthcare professionals. Healthcare workers may also be supported to lead the change through change process models which promote continuation and sustainability of the change.
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- Curtis, K., Fry, M., Shaban, R. Z., & Considine, J. (2016). Translating research findings to clinical nursing practice. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 26(5-6), 862-872. doi:10.1111/jocn.13586
- Fitzsimons, J., & Vaughan, D. (2015). Top 10 interventions in paediatric patient safety. Current Treatment Options in Pediatrics, 1(4), 275-285. doi:10.1007/s40746-015-0035-3
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