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INTRODUCTION

“If you wait for inspiration to write you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.”

–Dan Poynter

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN IN THIS CHAPTER

  • To know what to include in your report, start with the author guidelines.

  • In your report, provide details, including the context of the project, to help readers gain practical insights that might have relevance to their own work.

  • You can strengthen your report by following reporting guidelines.

Improving care and service delivery is every nurse’s and healthcare team’s responsibility. Making changes in healthcare practice and service delivery that have the potential to lead to better patient outcomes, better system performance, and better professional development (Bate et al., 2014) is important, yet challenging.

Although quality improvement (QI) and evidence-based practice (EBP) projects have distinguishing features that differ, such as the role that evidence plays and the types of interventions implemented, both have the same goal— providing patients with the best and safest care possible (Batalden & Davidoff, 2007; The Health Foundation, 2013). These activities are the foundation for professional nursing practice and the responsibility of the entire healthcare team.

This chapter guides you through how to write articles about QI and EBP projects. Although similar to the process for writing a research article, these projects require the use of unique techniques. Using these techniques helps ensure that readers gain the most from your work and increases the potential for the wider community to learn from your improvement practice and research.

COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT QI AND EBP PROJECTS

The answers to a few common questions about writing about QI and EBP projects will help prepare you to write.

What Is the Difference Between a QI or EBP Project and a Research Study?

Some people say that QI and EBP projects are not as rigorous as a full-scale research study, but this is not necessarily the case. All types of projects—research, QI, or EBP—can be conducted with more or less rigor. In fact, the quality and safety movement has been championing the need for more rigorous methods and transparent reporting.

Others say that QI and EBP projects tend to be local and focused on particular patient populations; however, you probably have read reports of research studies that have been conducted in a particular context with a specific patient group. And, you only need to read articles in the journal BMJ Quality and Safety to see that many quality projects can be large scale and fully funded by external agencies.

The one characteristic that differentiates QI and EBP projects from research projects is that they are consistently concerned with attempting to demonstrate and evaluate ways in which care, service delivery, or practice can be improved. These projects may be local, and some may be small scale, but they should be ...

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