Implementing evidence-based medicine in a busy general hospital department: results and critical success factors

Eelco Draaisma, Jolita Bekhof, Veerle J Langenhorst, Paul L P Brand

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Implementing evidence-based medicine (EBM) in a busy hospital department is challenging, but when successful, may contribute to quality of care. This paper is a narrative review of the successes and challenges of deliberate implementation of EBM in a paediatric department in a general teaching hospital
in Zwolle, the Netherlands. Key elements in this
project were providing basic EBM education to the entire team of consultants and nurse practitioners, structurally embedding EBM activities into our weekly schedule and development of local practice guidelines. This deliberate practice of EBM principles has changed the way we treat common paediatric problems. It likely reduced unwarranted practice variation and promoted a reserved attitude towards the use of unnecessary diagnostics, which might improve delivery of effective, cost-conscious care. The project also positively influenced our group culture and learning environment. In accordance with previous reports, lack of time and reluctance to change routines and habits hindered the practice of EBM in our department. In our experience, these barriers can be overcome by promoting a team-wide endorsement of EBM, a willingness to acknowledge uncertainty and by deliberate practice. If these can be achieved, systematic application of EBM principles in a busy hospital department is feasible and worthwhile.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-176
Number of pages4
JournalEvidence-Based Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 26-Jul-2018

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