Hurdling the Barriers to Evidence-Based Practice

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Karen Utterback By Karen Utterback 
Vice President, Product Management and Marketing, McKesson

Home Health Agencies Overcoming HurdlesMost of us tend to avoid conflict, but when it comes to transitioning to home health evidence-based practice (EBP), it’s critical to look for potential skirmish points. In our white paper “The Role of Evidence-Based Clinical Practice in Emerging Care Models of Homecare,” Caroline Humphrey and I discuss four anticipated barriers to adoption and suggest approaches for overcoming each one.

The first is the idea that evidence-based practices conflict with Medicare regulation. This is a huge concern for home care organizations, but it’s important to realize that although regulatory organizations provide rules for compliance, they are not intended as clinical guidelines. If an evidence-based practice is perceived as being out of compliance, the goal should be to clarify the issue so that you can make the practice work.

The second potential barrier is that home health clinicians are working under physician orders. Resolving these conflicts involves sharing your research from the scientific literature, providing staff with access to reliable and current evidence and stressing that it’s not an issue of right or wrong. Rather, it’s about providing care differently based on a scientifically proven, better way.

IT systems based on back-office functions rather than clinical practice are the third barrier. We suggest exploring with your provider how IT can move to a system that requires clinical practices to be based on evidence and establishing your organization’s need for an evidence-based clinical care platform with your vendor.

The final barrier is lack of knowledge about evidence-based practice. The solutions include top-down support, development of a culture that openly supports EBP, a plan to integrate EBP into your IT systems and consistent organizational communication about changes, activities and results stemming from EPB.

To read “The Role of Evidence-Based Clinical Practice in Emerging Care Models of Homecare,” by Caroline J. Humphrey, RN, of CJ Humphrey Associates and myself, please click here.

Or to stay up to date with the latest news and insight from the home health and hospice industry by subscribing to the McKesson Homecare Talk blog or liking us on Facebook.


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