Evidence Based Practice, also known as EBP according to (Liamputtong, 2013) is a “process that requires the practitioner to find best empirical evidence about the effectiveness or efficacy of different treatment options and then determine the relevance of the evidence to a particular client’s situation”. EBP values, enhances, and builds on the clinical proficiency, knowledge of the disease mechanisms, and pathophysiology. It involves complex and conscientious decision making built not only on the available evidence but also on patient physiognomies, circumstances, and preferences. It also recognizes health care as an individualized and ever changing that involves uncertainties and probabilities. Ultimately EBP is the formalization of the care process that the best clinicians have practiced for generations (McKibbon, 1998).
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Effective evidence based practice takes time, extensive research, proper understanding and is dependent on its five steps. The first of these is formulating a searchable clinical question or questions which than needs to be answered to satisfy the health carer or other specific needs of the patient. The second step involves the retrieval of best evidence such as textbooks, verified journal literature/article etc. to answer the questions. Appraising the retrieved information to help make a clinical decision forms the third step. The fourth steps involves applyingthe evidence with clinical expertise, taking the patient’s wants/needs into consideration and the fifth step involves the evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of the process. (McKibbon, 1998).
Evidence based practice is vital, demanding and highly respected amongst health care disciplines because of its ambitions to provide the most effective care that is accessible, with the aim of improving patients outcomes. It promotes an attitude of inquiry in health professionals and gets them into thinking about questions such as: Why am I doing this in this way? Is there evidence that can guide me to do this in a more effective way? Therefore, facilitating their practice into professional accountability. Evidence based practice also plays an important role in ensuring that health resources are used wisely and that relevant evidence is considered when decisions such as funding health services are made (Hoffmann, Bennett, & Mar, 2010).
Most health professionals use both individual clinical expertise and the best available external evidence as a guidance to their decision making. Without clinical expertise, practice risks becoming tyrannised by evidence, for even excellent external evidence may be inapplicable to or inappropriate for an individual patient. Without current best evidence, practice risks becoming rapidly out of date, to the detriment of patients (McKibbon, 1998). Clinical Expertise is important as it depends on the knowledge and skills of health care professionals providing care. The clinical expertise of a health professional depends on his/her year of clinical experience, current knowledge of research/clinical literature and educational preparation. The stronger the health professional’s clinical expertise the better his or her judgement in using the best research evidence in practice. Extensive research is needed to develop sound empirical knowledge for synthesis into the best research evidence needed for practice. This research evidence might be synthesized to develop guidelines, standards, protocols and policies to direct the implementation of a variety of health practice interventions (Burns & Grove, 2010).
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gloves is an essential component when practicing in any health care setting. Published Evidence based articles indicates that wearing of gloves in infection control practice can reduce the incidence of healthcare associated infection and exposure to communicable disease among healthcare workers (Olsen, et al.). Therefore, the correct use of gloves is vital in the healthcare environment.
To make sure gloves are effective evidently on the health practice the 5 steps of evidence based practice can be implemented. The first step can involve developing a clinical question regarding the gloves such as what kind of gloves are relevant and effective in my practice which can then be answered i.e.- Non sterile single use medical glovesto satisfy the health professional. The second step can involve the retrieval of best evidence such as verified journal literature/article about the Non sterile single use medical gloves. The third step can involve appraising the information from the journal literature/article regarding the gloves to help make a clinical decision. The fourth step can involves applyingthe Non sterile single use medical gloveswith clinical expertise whilst taking health professional’s wants/needs into consideration and the fifth step involves evaluatingtheeffectiveness and efficiency of the Non sterile single use medical gloves. Once these measures has been taken, the effectiveness of the specific gloves can be taken into account and if satisfied can be used for the practice.
While implementing the five step of EBP in the gloves, the major facilitators that are most likely to be found are organization and communication whilst the barriers while implementing the EBP are most likely to be lack of time and lack of autonomy to change practice (Kitson, Harvey, & McCormack, 1998). Thus, implementing Effective EBP requires time, energy, knowledge and authority and without these vital components, there is always bound to be barriers and proper EBP cannot be achieved.
In conclusion, the emergence of Evidence based practice has been rapid, dramatic, spreading in popularity amongst many health care disciplines and is changing the way health care is undertaken. The dependence on the partnership among hard scientific evidence, clinical expertise, individual patient needs and choices is the reason why evidence based practice is vital, demanding and highly respected amongst health care disciplines (Hoffmann, Bennett, & Mar, 2010). Despite this, Evidence based practice does have limitations and therefore, research is always needed to improve retrieval methods for EBP information and this is the reason why health professionals need to constantly develop and retain their research skills durable.
Burns, N., & Grove, S. (2010). Understanding Nursing Research: Building An Evidence-Based Practice. Elsevier – Health Sciences Division .
Hoffmann, T., Bennett, S., & Mar, C. D. (2010). Evidence based Practice-across the health professions. Elsevier Australia.
Kitson, A., Harvey, G., & McCormack, B. (1998). Enabling the implementation of evidence based practice: a conceptual framework. Qual Health Care, 7(3), 149-158. doi:10.1136/qshc.7.3.149
Liamputtong, P. (2013). Research Methods in Health (2nd edition, 2013 ed.). Oxford Uni Press (OUP).
McKibbon, K. A. (1998). Evidence-based practice*. Health Information Research Unit, 396-401.
Olsen, R. J., Lynch, P., Coyle, M. B., Cummings, J., Bokete, T., & Stamm, W. E. (n.d.). Examination Gloves as Barriers to Hand Contamination in Clinical Practice. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510030074037
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