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“Often he who does too much does too little.”

–Italian proverb

When a culture of inquiry supports evidence-based practice (EBP), many triggering issues and opportunities will be identified. In fact, it is often the case that there are far more questions than resources available to address them. A number of criteria can be used to determine whether the purpose of the EBP project matches organizational priorities (see Figure 3.1). Considering departmental priorities, the existing infrastructure, and available resources may be helpful (Braithwaite, Marks, & Taylor, 2014; Clay-Williams, Nosrati, Cunningham, Hillman, & Braithwaite, 2014; Fleiszer, Semenic, Ritchie, Richer, & Denis, 2016a).

Figure 3.1

Indications for Deciding: Is This Topic a Priority?

Clinicians can identify organizational priorities in a number of ways (see Tool 3.1). The nursing and organizational strategic plans identify priorities, responsibilities, strategies for achieving them, and metrics for evaluating progress (Hauck, Winsett, & Kuric, 2013). Executive announcements and annual reports provide insight into priorities of organizational leaders. Core metrics, national patient safety goals, and publicly reported quality and safety data are an ongoing priority with resources, expertise, and an infrastructure to support continuous improvement (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2017; The Joint Commission, 2017a). Additional organizational initiatives (e.g., facility or program expansion) have an associated investment that makes them priorities with implications for EBP (Sandström, Borglin, Nilsson, & Willman, 2011). However, other priorities may develop as healthcare needs, standards, and funding evolve (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2017b; CDC, 2017c).

After developing a clear purpose statement for the EBP initiative, consider how to link to existing and emerging priorities. When developing a link between the EBP purpose and key priorities, consider:

  • Scope of the problem described in research

  • Impact on patient quality of life or health disparity

  • Economic burden (e.g., lost work days, related disability, quality adjusted life-year, length of stay, readmission)

  • Relevance to current practice or setting

This step in the EBP process supports early partnering with key stakeholders and eventual sustainment of the resulting practice improvement (Ellen et al., 2013; Fleiszer et al., 2016a). Talking points or a brief EBP project proposal could be developed to share with key stakeholders (see Tool 3.2). For example, use elements of a business case to clearly describe the EBP as a priority to garner senior leadership support (Williams, Perillo, & Brown, 2015).

RESOURCES: Creating a Business Case

Project work will benefit from taking the time to match the ...

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