What Promotes Evidence-Based Practice in Routine Nursing Care?

Study on improving the quality of care through routine, successful implementation of evidence-based practice at the bedside

An international research team led by investigators at the Boston University School of Public Health examined the factors that promote the use of evidence-based practice in routine health care by comparing and contrasting departments of nursing at two U.S. hospitals:

  • A 350-bed academic medical center identified as a "role model" in integrating evidence-based practice in routine care.
  • A 400-bed community hospital that identified itself as a "beginner"—still early in the process of integrating evidence-based practice into the organizational culture of its nursing units.

Key Findings: At the role model site:

  • Key leaders at different levels of the organization have pursued policies, strategies and activities that support integrating evidence-based practice.
  • A supportive organizational culture, which reflected values, norms and expectations, has helped institutionalize evidence-based practice.

At the beginner site:

  • There were fewer reports of key leaders spearheading activity related to evidence-based practice.
  • Evidence-based practice was not yet embedded or reflected in the way nurses and other staff members talked about their work, did their work or expected it to be done.