19Jan 2022 by

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practice (EBP) uses the best evidence available along with clinical
expertise and the patient’s opinion to make the best decision when
caring for patients (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2019). Research is the study of a single topic using the scientific process to generate new knowledge (Chien L. Y., 2019, Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2019). Finally, quality
improvement is a process that is used by organizations, usually for a
specific problem or population, to improve patient care (Melnyk &
Fineot-Overholt, 2019). 

three terms are similar in that they have one goal in common, to
improve patient outcomes. However, EBP uses current research and is a
rigorous and systematic process to change practice (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2019).
Quality improvement is a form of research because it takes a problem,
and action is taken and evaluated to see if that intervention resulted
in improved outcomes; however, it does not follow the research process.
We have quality improvement (CQI) projects to improve patient outcomes
at an organizational and departmental level (Melnyk &
Fineot-Overholt, 2019). For example, one year, our CQI project was to
improve patient adherence to physical activity goals. One of our actions
taken included providing pedometers to our patients. This improved
adherence and helped patients meet their physical activity goals. In
practice, we have evidence-based guidelines to help guide our decisions
for patient care. For example, the American Diabetes Association puts
out new evidence-based guidelines with the most up-to-date
recommendations every year. Evidence-based guidelines are based on
systematic reviews and translated as best practices (Melnyk &
Fineot-Overholt, 2019). Since I don’t have time to read every article
published on a topic, I can refer to the guidelines. As a certified
diabetes educator, I have the American Diabetes Association guidelines
and my clinical expertise and patient beliefs and values to make the
best decision for my patients. That is putting evidence (research) into
practice (EBP). However, not everything is in the guidelines, and I
often must refer to current research to help guide my practice as a
diabetes educator. That is one of the reasons I decided to go back to
school for my MSN. I struggled to find information on a topic and then
had difficulty interpreting the findings. I learned so much last
semester in our Nursing Research course about appraising current
research, and I feel more confident in my current and future role as a
nurse practitioner.

research plays a vital role for EBP and is needed for EBP to be
effective (Powers, 2019). Powers (2019) explains that nursing research
provides the foundation for nursing practice, and I agree. The EBP
process includes searching and collecting research evidence and
processing the findings by critically appraising the articles (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2019). If
there is not enough research on our topic, we might consider broadening
our search. On the other hand, too much information on a topic might
mean that we need to be more specific (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2019). Therefore, appraising research will be a critical step in our EBP project.

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