It is not enough to identify and accept evidence-based practice regarding any particular form of patient care. The evidence must be put into practice in a way that is effective, notes Charles Tuchinda, MD, MBA, president of Zynx Health, a company based in Los Angeles that assists healthcare organizations with evidence-based quality improvement.
“Once you know what you should be doing, you have to make it easily accessible to physicians. That often means putting it into a physician’s workflow. That usually means building it into the electronic health record so that you can bring [best practices] as close to the bedside or patient encounter as possible,” he explains. “You’re trying to make it easy for the clinician to do the right thing, easier than doing the wrong thing or doing nothing at all. Order sets, care plans, and alerts can all be tools for delivering evidence-based care.”
The goal should be for a patient to experience evidence-based practice throughout the entire care journey, Tuchinda says, from admission to discharge. But it is important to present the evidence-based care suggestion at the right time in the process. An emergency physician will ignore, and possibly be frustrated by, a reminder about the medications a cardiac patient should receive on discharge.
“You want to make sure vital interventions show up at the right time. The challenge after you know what to do is finding the right spot in the workflow, and making sure your organization is doing it consistently,” Tuchinda adds.