The Evidence-Based Practice in Healthcare

Evaluation of the concept of evidence-based practice

The healthcare industry draws sufficient attention to ensure that it contributes to improved health and organizational outcomes, and evidence-based practice (EBP) offers significant assistance to this process. This term denotes the use of current research findings in “patient care practices and clinical decision-making” (Wilson & Austria, 2021, para. 3). One should also admit that EBP is the combination of research data, medical professionals’ clinical experience, and the consideration of patient preferences. The mixture of these three phenomena allows healthcare professionals to make the most appropriate decisions. That is why it is challenging to overestimate the significance of EBP within the medical field.

It is reasonable to explain that applying EBP approaches implies a few steps. Firstly, it is necessary to develop a specific question that relates to a current issue. This activity is of significance since it allows for identifying the phenomena and processes that need improvement. A helpful tip is to use a PICO(T) template to formulate the question (Wilson & Austria, 2021). Secondly, the literature review and synthesis should be performed to identify what is already known about how to address the identified issue. It implies the work with various databases to find credible and timely resources. Thirdly, these data typically suffice to make recommendations as to how to solve the problem. Fourthly, it is necessary to evaluate the proposed actions to ensure that they do not have any challenges. Thus, the final step is to disseminate the information among stakeholders to ensure that the EBP approach results in practice improvement.

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Simultaneously, one can state that EBP supports people practitioners’ sound decision-making regarding various health and organizational issues. On the one hand, healthcare professionals can rely on the EBP approach to provide patients with safer and better care. For example, patient falls are a widespread problem because it contributes to many injuries. If a practitioner finds that it is the case for their organization, they are encouraged to perform the steps highlighted above to address the situation. Relevant literature can offer a few helpful interventions to protect patients from falls. On the other hand, it is possible to solve organizational issues with the help of EBP. For example, Hansen (2017) demonstrates that the approach under consideration contributes to effective conflict management. It denotes that healthcare professionals can rely on EBP to find the most appropriate conflict resolution strategies.

Evaluation of two micro and two macro analysis tools or methods that can be used in people practice

The microenvironment includes all those actors and processes that are in contact with an organization and can directly impact its routine activities. Philip (2019) clarifies that this environment comprises the organization, the general public, customers, and others. It is possible to use various tools to analyze this sphere. Firstly, Porter’s Five Forces can be applied since it focuses on suppliers, customers, the threat of substitutes, the threat of potential new entrants, and competition (Tomas, 2020). This tool considers what power each of these sources has to influence the organization. Secondly, a part of the SWOT analysis can be used to explore the microenvironment. It refers to the letters S and W that stand for strengths and weaknesses. These spheres reflect the organizational resources and possibilities compared to competitors.

These analysis tools can predict future issues, challenges, and opportunities. For example, Porter’s Five Forces can indicate that an organization will face an increased number of patients. Simultaneously, the SWOT analysis can reveal that the organization will witness an increased competition because a rival can be more appealing to patients. This information demonstrates that it is reasonable to invest in analyzing the microenvironment to predict future processes.

The macroenvironment refers to a larger context that represents external factors influencing decision-making processes in organizations. Philip (2019) explains that this environment consists of a few components, including demographic, political, economic, and other fields. PESTEL is the first possible tool to analyze the given sphere. This abbreviation stands for political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal domains (Thakur, 2021). This tool focuses on what processes occur in these areas and how these changes can influence an organization. Simultaneously, the SWOT analysis can also be used to explore the macro environment. The rationale behind this fact is that it considers opportunities and threats that affect an organization from the outside.

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These tools can be used to predict future challenges and opportunities. The PESTEL analysis is helpful since it focuses on many spheres that can significantly affect organizational performance. For example, this tool can find some economic changes that will make the organization suffer financial issues. At the same time, the SWOT analysis can generate some optimistic predictions. For example, this tool can determine that the industry will witness a technological development that will allow for improving care delivery. The macroenvironment analysis is also essential for organizations.

The principles of critical thinking to assist objective and rationale debate

Critical thinking is an essential skill because it provides people with an opportunity to work with data more efficiently. This term stands for “the act of analyzing facts to understand a problem or topic thoroughly” (Indeed Editorial Team, 2021, para. 4). The given process implies a few principles, and being objective is the first and the most significant of them. It is necessary to ensure that personal bias, emotions, or assumptions do not affect decisions. This explanation results in the second principle implying that it is only allowed to rely on context and facts. This requirement means that critical thinking does not use intuition or guesses. The third principle suggests that a person should check the credibility of facts and other data. If the critical thinking process relies on inaccurate information, outcomes will hardly be optimistic. These are the fundamental principles that contribute to the fact that critical thinking leads to some advantages.

I can admit that I rely on the principles above to assess my own ideas. For example, there is a hypothetical situation when I want to conduct research to identify practical pressure ulcer prevention steps. Even though the concept seems positive, it is necessary to apply the critical thinking principles to assess it. Firstly, it would be of significance to stay objective and unbiased. It can be possible because I would ensure that I do not have any personal interest in addressing or not addressing the issue. Secondly, I would look for facts and other relevant data to identify whether the problem is worth considering and what possible solutions exist. Once this information is found, I would analyze whether it is credible, which is the third principle. This process would allow me to decide whether it is rational to research the issue.

Simultaneously, I can use the principles to assess others’ ideas. It can refer to an example of a conflict between two colleagues where one of them blames the other for using insulting language. If I am asked to address the situation, I will rely on critical thinking. Thus, it would be necessary to neglect my personal attitude towards these colleagues to stay objective. The following steps would be to collect the facts about the conflict source from the two colleagues and witnesses. These data could suffice to offer a helpful solution to the situation.

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Ethical theories and perspectives used to inform and influence effective decision-making

Many ethical theories exist to interpret people’s actions and decisions, and utilitarianism is among them. According to Savulescu et al. (2020), this term implies the perspective stating that “the right action is the action that is expected to produce the greatest good” (p. 620). This theory is comparatively simplistic since it limits morality to maximizing positive outcomes for more individuals. Even though it seems overall positive, it implies some drawbacks. For example, the theory focuses on maximizing the good without considering whether it is just for all. It means that this perspective should be applied with caution.

The theory of utilitarianism can contribute to advantageous decision-making because it focuses on achieving positive outcomes. When there is a necessity to make a decision or act, utilitarianism stipulates that it is necessary to choose those options that benefit many people. For example, this theory stipulates that it is morally allowed to ignore the needs of a single individual to satisfy many people with more minor requirements. While this decision seems logical, the explanation above has described that it is a result of the theory’s limitation.

Deontology is the second ethical theory that is considered in the given answer. According to Barrow and Khandhar (2021), Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher, developed this perspective that relies on rules and professional duties. Deontology focuses on the fact that individuals understand moral laws and can use them as guidance. This ethical theory draws no attention to people’s emotions or personal consequences of some actions. Instead of it, the key message is that people are only allowed to make those actions that are considered morally correct irrespective of what consequences this strategy can bring.

Deontology can be effectively used in the decision-making process because it promotes morality. An example can come from a hypothetical situation when children should be involved in research. There can be a case when a child’s parent gives consent for the participation, while a boy or girl refuses. In this case, deontology stipulates that the child may not be involved in research because it is morally wrong to coerce individuals to participate in some activities. Even though including such children can contribute to the greater good of science, the given ethical theory bans this action.

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Decision-making approaches used to identify possible solutions to a specific issue relating to people practice

When it comes to people’s practice, a significant issue relates to the fact that individuals fail to make evidence-based decisions when they face various problems. It is a challenge because the absence of EBP implies that people do not have a comprehensive and systematic approach to solving the existing issues. Possible consequences imply that individuals rely on emotions, intuition, advice, and others to address problems, and this strategy does not always lead to positive outcomes. That is why it is reasonable to comment on a few decision-making approaches that can be used to identify possible solutions of how to promote EBP.

The first possible approach is to rely on a single personality. In every organization or group, there is at least one leader who bears responsibility and makes decisions. That is why it is not a surprise that this person can overuse their position and promote their own interests in making a particular decision. Regarding the example under consideration, the given approach can result in the fact that the leader relies on their intuition, subjective opinions, or expertise and offers a specific course of action to address the issue.

The second possible option is to use a holistic approach. McDonnell (2017) justifies that this strategy implies that it is necessary to approach the issue from a scientific point of view. This approach means that it is required to do research prior to making any decisions. In this case, the same leading person in a group or organization bears responsibility, but they should apply critical thinking principles to their choices. This approach is more efficient than the previous one since it involves some actions to assess and choose more suitable decisions.

The third option is to cooperate with the group to arrive at a particular decision. McDonnell (2017) clarifies that this approach can only be productive when the process is highly structured and controlled. It denotes that decision-making should not be turned into chaos or conflicts. In this case, the critical thinking principles are of significance. The rationale behind this statement is that people should objectively analyze others’ ideas to arrive at an agreement. Furthermore, it is necessary to control emotions to ensure that they do not affect the collaboration and decision-making process. A suitable example is when a nurse cooperates with other healthcare professionals to find, for example, an EBP solution to prevent patient falls.

The relevant evidence and decision-making tools to determine a recommended course of action

The previous answer reveals that an insufficient volume of EBP is a significant challenge for any people organization. However, it is also reasonable to present reliable evidence to claim that the problem exists. Thus, Reid et al. (2017) clarify that EBP is a significant phenomenon that brings positive outcomes to the healthcare industry. However, the researchers also admit that not all nurses understand the EBP’s importance and stick to its principles, and a study of 1,000 nurses across Europe justifies its thought (Reid et al., 2017). Thus, the people practice issue implies that healthcare professionals can make wrong decisions since they fail to support them with research.

There exist a few decision-making tools that can be used to determine the recommended course of action toward promoting EBP in the healthcare setting. Among them, the cost-benefit analysis seems appropriate to the situation under consideration. According to Geekmaster (2020), this decision-making tool focuses on input and output data and compares these values to identify whether a decision is worth efforts. Even though this tool typically implies mathematical calculation to determine actual costs and benefits, it can also be used in a people organization. In this case, the tool will focus on some abstract phenomena, including time, efforts, and patient health outcomes, to reveal whether it is necessary to implement EBP in an organization.

It is reasonable to comment on the rationale behind the selection of the cost-benefit analysis. Firstly, it is easy to implement this solution because organizations do not need any specific software to conduct this analysis. That is why it is acceptable for general organizations that would like to assess some potential decisions. Secondly, the tool is suitable since it produces immediate results. There is no need to wait much time for data processing since the analysis instantly reveals the findings. Thirdly, this tool is requested because it typically generates accurate results. The simplicity of use demonstrates that the data can be processed and analyzed without any essential drawbacks.

In addition to that, it is necessary to mention the benefits, risks, and financial implications of the suggested solution to rely on EBP. Thus, it is challenging to overestimate the possible advantages of this process because EBP improves decision-making processes within the healthcare industry, leading to better patient health outcomes. It is also worth admitting that EBP does not require any significant financial resources. However, this information does not mean that the phenomenon under consideration is free from any risks. One of them refers to the fact that not all healthcare settings welcome the adoption of EBP. This statement implies that medical professionals can face opposition from their colleagues while trying to implement EBP. Such a limitation can result in the fact that nurses will refrain from doing research to support a decision not to face such opposition. It means that it is necessary to promote this practice within healthcare settings to maximize its benefits.

Approaches used to measure financial and non-financial performance within organisations

When it comes to financial performance measurement, it is possible to rely on a few indicators. For example, it refers to a working capital that includes the cash that is immediately at hand. This measure can reveal whether a business has sufficient assets to cover all the liabilities. When it comes to nonprofit organizations, it is reasonable to focus on specific indicators. On the one hand, a current ratio reflects a correlation between current assets and liabilities to demonstrate whether an organization can meet its short-term obligations (Frambes, 2019). On the other hand, it is reasonable to consider a net operating ratio to determine how efficiently money is used. This information demonstrates that a hospital can rely on these indicators to assess its financial performance.

In addition to that, it is reasonable to draw attention to non-financial performance measurement that reveals how well an organization performs its functions. In this case, an array of different indicators can be used depending on what establishment is under consideration. When it comes to healthcare organizations, it is possible to focus on patient health outcomes. For example, acute care hospitals can draw attention to mortality and readmission rates to assess their non-financial performance. In this case, any medical setting can focus on nurse turnover rates. This indicator reveals whether many nurses leave the organization, which can indicate the level of their workplace satisfaction. If the given rate is low, it can mean that many nurses are satisfied with their working conditions, denoting decent non-financial performance.

Finally, it is necessary to comment on the differences between the two methods to measure performance. There is no doubt that they utilize different approaches toward the task. However, it does not mean that any of them is more significant than the other. In other words, it is impossible to state that if a healthcare unit performs well as per financial measures, it is possible to ignore non-financial indicators, and the opposite is also true. This information demonstrates that it is rational to use financial and non-financial measures in combination. For example, if an acute care clinic has decent mortality and readmission rates, it is reasonable to focus on its current and operating ratios. The analysis of all the indicators is necessary to make a comprehensive decision regarding the organization’s performance.

References

Barrow, J. M., & Khandhar, P. B. (2021). Deontology. StatPearls Publishing.

Frambes, B. (2019). Measuring nonprofit financial performance. Barnes Denning. Web.

Geekmaster. (2020). Top 5 best decision-making tools & techniques. Geeknack. Web.

Hansen, T. (2017). Evidence-based conflict management practice. Journal of Conflict Management, 5(1), 43-62.

Indeed Editorial Team. (2021). 10 essential critical thinking skills (and how to improve them). Indeed. Web.

McDonnell, C. (2017). Decision-making approaches to help you make “the right” one! BrightWork. Web.

Philip, B. (2019). Micro and macro environment factors to be analyzed for companies. Linkedin. Web.

Reid, J., Briggs, J., Carlisle, S., Scott, D., & Lewis, C. (2017). Enhancing utility and understanding of evidence-based practice through undergraduate nurse education. BMC Nursing, 16(58). Web.

Savulescu, J., Persson, I., & Wilkinson, D. (2020). Utilitarianism and the pandemic. Bioethics, 34(6), 620-632. Web.

Thakur, V. (2021). Framework for PESTEL dimensions of sustainable healthcare waste management: Learnings from COVID-19 outbreak. Journal of Cleaner Production, 287(125562), 1-14. Web.

Tomas, D. (2020). Porter’s competitive forces model and SWOT analysis to payments. International Journal of Information Science, 10(2), 45-49. Web.

Wilson, B., & Austria, W.-J. (2021). What is evidence-based practice? Health University of Utah. Web.

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