The implementation of evidence-based practice (EBP) in healthcare is essential for delivering high-quality patient care. Nurses, in particular, play a crucial role in the implementation of EBP on nursing units. However, there are often barriers and challenges that can hinder the successful implementation of evidence into practice. To bridge the gap between scientific evidence and patient care, it is important to have an in-depth understanding of the barriers and incentives to achieving change in practice. Various theories and models for change have been developed to address these challenges.
When planning complex changes in practice, it is necessary to consider potential barriers at various levels. These barriers can include the nature of the EBP, the characteristics of the professionals and patients involved, and the social and organizational culture within the healthcare setting. Failure to address these barriers can result in unorganized change and “expensive trial and error.” Therefore, the use of a theory, model, or framework can provide structure to the process of change and increase the likelihood of successful implementation.
One benefit of utilizing a theory of change model is that it aids in understanding why the implementation of a practice either succeeds or fails. By using a model, researchers and practitioners can identify the factors that influence implementation outcomes and evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation process. This knowledge can then be used to guide future implementation efforts and improve the delivery of evidence-based care.
In the article “Making Sense of Implementation Theories, Models, and Frameworks” by Nilsen (2015), three reasons for the importance of following implementation science are highlighted. The first reason is to describe and/or guide the process of translating research into practice. Implementation science provides guidance on how to effectively move evidence from research studies into real-world healthcare settings.
The second reason is to understand and/or explain the factors that influence implementation outcomes. By studying the implementation process, researchers can gain insight into the facilitators and barriers to successful implementation. This understanding can help identify strategies to overcome challenges and promote the adoption of evidence-based practices.
The third reason is to evaluate the implementation process. By systematically evaluating implementation efforts, researchers can determine the effectiveness of different strategies and interventions. This knowledge can inform future implementation efforts and contribute to the overall advancement of evidence-based care.
Considering the benefits highlighted by Nilsen (2015), it is clear that incorporating a change model for the implementation of EBP outweighs the time and effort it may require. The complexity of healthcare systems and the challenges associated with implementing change necessitate a structured approach. By using a theory, model, or framework, nurses and healthcare organizations can navigate these challenges more effectively and improve the delivery of evidence-based care.
In conclusion, the implementation of evidence-based practice is crucial for delivering high-quality patient care. Nurses play a vital role in this process, and it is important to address the barriers and challenges that hinder successful implementation. Utilizing a theory, model, or framework provides structure and guidance to the implementation process and allows for a better understanding of the factors that influence implementation outcomes. By incorporating implementation science, healthcare professionals can improve the translation of research into practice and make care safer for patients.