By Emily Brennan, MLIS, Research Informationist, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Library, Charleston, SC, firstname.lastname@example.org
In my role as Research Informationist at MUSC Library, I teach and employ evidence-based practice (EBP) thus impacting patient care on both an individual and systematic level. As Co-Director of the Pediatrics Residency EBP Curriculum, I round with interprofessional teams on the inpatient wards, providing answers to clinical questions that arise at the point-of-care. I am also involved in the weekly EBP noon conference in which residents present on an EBP topic. Clinical rounding, informal training, and structured instruction are also a part of the Year 3 College of Medicine Pediatrics Clerkship, in which I am a preceptor. Throughout their pediatrics rotation, medical students work in teams to complete a project that involves developing a clinical question based on a patient, then finding and appraising an article that answers that question. My involvement in the pediatrics residency program and clerkship ensure that evidence-based research is integrated into clinical expertise, leading to better patient care.
As a member of MUSC’s Center for Evidence-Based Practice, I am also involved with EBP on a more systematic level. The Center is housed jointly in the Library and the Quality Management department of the MUSC Hospital, and includes a Director, Elizabeth Crabtree MPH, PhD(c), librarian (myself), and Clinical EBP Analyst. The Center develops evidence-based hospital guidelines, clinical decision support tools, and provides EBP education for MUSC clinicians, staff and students. The Center for EBP uses interprofessional content expert teams to develop evidence-based order sets for the electronic health record (EHR).
In my role as lead librarian in the Center for EBP, I am responsible for performing literature searches on clinical questions of interest for a given disease process or topic. My expertise in conducting comprehensive literature searches ensures that the best research evidence is integrated into practice. Once I complete the search, I share the search strategy and relevant references with the Director of EBP through a shared reference management account. The Director then critically appraises, evaluates and summarizes the evidence. The content expert teams then review the evidence and develop recommendations that drive the development of order sets. This framework helps ensure the delivery of comprehensive, coordinated, evidence-based care across the clinical spectrum.
The Center teaches clinicians, staff and students about the theory, practice and dissemination of EBP through educational courses. Three courses focus on the process of EBP: 1) Nurse Scholars Course, 2) Interprofessional Pediatrics Course, and 3) College of Medicine Year 2 Students EBM Curriculum. The primary outcome assessment for these courses is the completion of an evidence summary that requires participants to formulate clinical questions, search the literature, appraise the evidence, identify quality measures, and develop practice recommendations that drive care for a particular clinical topic. The final evidence summary leads to either an updated hospital policy or clinical decision support tool, such as an EHR order set. I teach how to formulate a clinical question, differentiate study designs, search the literature, and manage references. The Director of EBP describes how to identify stakeholders, interpret statistics, appraise the evidence, select quality measures, and translate the evidence.
Participants who have completed either the Nurse Scholars or Interprofessional Pediatrics Course may participate in an Evidence-Based Practice Leadership Program. This program, starting in fall 2014, will equip clinicians to lead change, and implement and disseminate evidence. My responsibility in this course will be to prepare participants to disseminate the evidence, including writing an abstract, selecting a journal for publication or conference for presentation, and creating a professional poster.
In my roles as Research Informationist and a member of the Center for EBP, I am uniquely positioned to equip clinicians, staff and students with the skills necessary to make evidence-based decisions during every day clinical practice, as well as impact and standardize patient care on a systematic level.