Creating an Electronic "Specialty Evidence-Base" for Clinical Decision-Making in Your Nursing Practice

Thursday, 15 July 2010: 10:50 AM

Mary M. Brennan, MS
College of Nursing, New York University, New York, NY

Learning Objective 1: describe the process of developing a cognitive knowledge base and transforming cognitive knowledge into an actual electronic evidence base.

Learning Objective 2: customize the development of an electronic “Specialty Evidence Base” for their respective practices

The Institute of Medicine recommends that all nurses utilize the best available evidence in their nursing practice to inform clinical decision-making.  Keeping abreast of the current research and guidelines represents a constant challenge for busy clinicians who have limited time for reading research and may not appreciate the value of keeping current with the best available evidence in their specialty practices.    We will detail the process of developing an electronic “Specialty Evidence Base” and illustrate how individual nurses, nurse  practitioners or interdisciplinary groups create, design, and develop their own specialty-related evidence base as a means of staying current with the latest evidence and providing a source of high quality reference material and evidence for decision-making.    Nurses customize their “Specialty Evidence Base” by searching for evidence specific to their specialty practice and cataloguing the evidence according to developmental stages, competencies, or across a spectrum of holistic health-related topics to include relevant screening tools, diagnostic studies, randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, meta-analyses and guidelines that have been pre- appraised for quality, validity and applicability by the individual clinician or the clinical group.    Periodically, the individual or groups search for updated evidence in their specialty practice, appraise the quality of the research, and add the updated evidence to the Specialty Evidence Base.

We will marquee the development of exemplar “Specialty Evidence Bases” for Nurse Practitioners in Adult and Pediatric Cardiology Practices.  The Pediatric Cardiology “Specialty Evidence Base” organizes evidence according to cardiac health and developmental stages which include primary care strategies to support “growth” of a healthy heart and recognition of primary care disorders.  The Adult Cardiology “Specialty Evidence Base”  catalogues evidence across a spectrum of cardiac health and illness ranging from primary prevention through acute treatment, and secondary prevention of heart disease.