Evidence-based medicine (EBM) strives to advance decision-making by highlighting the application of data from reliable and reputable research. The term’s use has been extended to incorporate the information in practice guidelines and strategies that refer to different combinations of patients. EBM is used to describe and guide specialists’ decision-making through evidence practice guidelines within universal health settings or medical training.
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Thus, EBM insists that individual choices and strategies should be based on scientific evidence from medical research to choose the most suitable practice. Therefore, the guidelines’ primary purpose is to develop the quality of care and reduce inconsistencies between the work of different healthcare professionals.
Evidence-based guidelines are proposed to secure that patients receive proper therapy and attention. Guidelines review contemporary insights of the medical education, consider the advantages and limitations of various treatment models, and provide distinct recommendations based on scientific information. They usually involve guidelines for standard practice and present benchmarks against which specialists can audit and enhance their work.
Evidence practice guidelines are useful in various ways, as they help establish the standards of care, leading to patients’ positive outcomes. During the periods of nursing negligence, the subject must prove their claim against the nursing practitioner (NP). The law generally requires a high criterion for evidence to establish a charge of negligence against a NP. Adherence to evidence-practice guidelines is an efficient system for providing quality care and decreasing bias in nursing (Raveesh et al., 2016).
Clinical guidelines have been formulated statewide and worldwide to promote the standards for the practice of evidence-based medicine. For example, during the NP negligence suits, such guidelines can function as a reliable reference to particular norms ignored by the nurse. They can be regarded as regulating measures and are employed as specific nursing care standards during various clinical procedures (Raveesh et al., 2016). Moreover, the guidelines help assess the extent to which a questionable application was in line with recognized standards.
Evidence practice guidelines are a fundamental element of incorporating medical science into clinical practice. Thus, medical facilities must have a tool to ensure that professionals, including advanced care nurses and their patients, can freely access the guidelines. Adherence to clinical guidelines is an efficient method to advance quality care and decrease variation in practice.
Clinical guidelines have been formed nationally and globally, to provide standards useful in the course of EBM. In medical neglect cases, such guidelines are the primary source of information, as they are the output of a reputable body and are regarded as reliable (Raveesh et al., 2016). They can be perceived as regulating care standards, allowing third-parties to evaluate whether a professional was operating within the accepted norms.
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Patients sue medical specialists due to the perception that they were not understood correctly, or their requirements were not accurately satisfied. Consequently, a poor outcome emerges from misunderstanding or negligence. Literature suggests that strict adherence to evidence practice guidelines reduced hospitalization risk in individuals with chronic heart failure in numerous European states (Murad, 2017).
For example, research on breast cancer patients revealed that the high number of standards violations lead to a statistically significant increase in mortality rates (Murad, 2017). Furthermore, other studies identified the evidence illustrating that guideline-based care positively impacts NP and patient outcomes (Hoesing, 2016). Therefore, the evidence practice guidelines influence the care standards, nursing efficiency, and positive patient results. Thus, integration of care standards by all NPs plays a vital part in providing quality treatment.
Additionally, there are steps that health care providers can take to reduce risk they take from patients. A study conducted in Sweden found that continuity of care is vital in risk reduction from the provider’s side (Fernholm et al., 2020). It has a two-fold effect, strengthening the effectiveness of the care received in the medical facilities and increasing the patient’s confidence in the effectiveness of the care.
Ensuring a patient’s long-term health is essential for risk management as it helps avoid patient dissatisfaction post-care (Fernholm et al., 2020). Patients are not often medically educated and may misunderstand the recommendations given by their healthcare providers. Communication with patients about the continuity of care should be clear and understandable, using language familiar to the patient and explaining why the care is necessary.
The study also found that gaps in healthcare provider knowledge posed risks to patients and the professional. Thus, to combat this, adherence to evidence practice guidelines can be combined with gathering other opinions from medical colleagues. This creates decision support, which can help mitigate risks to the patient and the provider in the long term (Fernholm et al., 2020).
In general, more communication between healthcare professionals, doctors, and nurses was beneficial to risk reduction, as it increased the accuracy of safety nets for the patient. This was found to be necessary, particularly between doctors and nurses, as they do not always work in close proximity (e.g., the same room), at times leading to misunderstandings. Overall, guidelines remain quality standards for both patients and healthcare professionals, leading to open and effective communication.
Fernholm, R., Holzmann, M. J., Malm-Willadsen, K., Härenstam, K. P., Carlsson, A. C., Nilsson, G. H., & Wachtler, C. (2020). Patient and provider perspectives on reducing risk of harm in primary health care: A qualitative questionnaire study in Sweden. Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, 38(1), 66–74. Web.
Hoesing, H. (2016). Clinical practice guidelines: Closing the gap between theory and practice. Joint Commission International, 1-11. Web.
Murad, M. H. (2017). Clinical practice guidelines: A primer on development and dissemination. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 92(3), 423–433. Web.
Raveesh, B. N., Nayak, R. B., & Kumbar, S. F. (2016). Preventing medico-legal issues in clinical practice. Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology, 19, 15–20. Web.