Implementing Evidence-Based Practice in a Community-Based Facility Utilizing a Unit-Based Practice Council

Monday, 7 July 2008
Teresa Money-McLaughlin , Department of Oncology, St. Vincent's Medical Center, Bridgeport, CT

Learning Objective 1: Describe evidenced based practices and patient education to decrease patient falls on an Oncology Unit.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will identify two interventions that decreased falls.

Oncology nursing is always changing and oncology nurses must update and maintain practice controls to achieve safe and quality care for our patients. From febrile neutropenia to chemotherapy administration there are many challenges for the oncology nurse.

Development of a Unit Based Oncology Practice Council was established to examine time restraints, attention to detail, and evidenced based practice as it pertains to oncology nurse practice. It is imperative to achieve the quality outcomes we desired by implementing evidence based practice. One of the issues the Council focused on first was creating oncology specific plan of care sets and examining nurse sensitive outcomes like prevention of infection, falls prevention and safe chemotherapy administration.

The Unit Based Oncology Practice Council was developed and worked together to ensure that nursing interventions and nurse practice was driven by dedicated nursing practice, research, and incorporated patient education. The Council developed and implemented a Chemotherapy Plan of Care and a Myelosuppression Plans of Care, and a falls prevention program was developed.

Evaluations were done via active open chart audits and ongoing nurse education. Audits looked at timeliness of implementation, proper completion, timeliness of interventions, proper completion, timeliness of interventions, and documentation of achieved goals. Conclusions thus far conclude that nurses are dedicated to quality care and desire better outcomes for patients. Practice is evolving away from ineffective interventions.

Providing the Council to enforce evidence based practice helped the nurses determine the interventions that are most effective to improve outcomes. The Council recognizes that nursing sensitive patient outcomes provides a means for nurses to define their role objectively to achieve quality patient care.