The 2 things required to get it to work in an organisation
Evidence Based Practice has been around for over 30 years now, yet it has still to penetrate the culture of many organizations, even though it is used extensively in clinical and other professional arenas. A new study by researchers at the Centre for Evidence Based Practice at Bergen University in Norway has come up with some interesting findings about how to embed the practice in your organisation.
Evidence Based Practice is central to the working practices of organizations like the UK’s NHS. It forms the primary basis of its core practice and strategy. The study looked at how students and practitioners viewed their ability to apply it and their perceptions of what constitute necessary conditions to implement evidence-based practice.
Practitioners are expected to build decisions upon solid evidence. This requires that decisions are based on the best available, current, valid and relevant evidence from research, informed by clinical expertise and patient values.
It was found that an overall necessary condition for evidence-based practice to occur in any workplace is the existence of a ‘readiness for change’ both at an individual level and at the organizational level.
This means that in order for evidence based practice to really take off in any organization there are two primary precursors for readiness to change to be evident in the organization:
- That the organization is a learning organization. This means that leaders:
- Understand the nature of evidence-based practice,
- Are committed to developing a learning focussed, evidence-centric culture and,
- Can develop networks that help to find and build both evidence and skill in using it.
- That staff have developed the knowledge and skills to be change agents. This means employees:
- Have a level of self-efficacy or have the self-belief and confidence that they have the knowledge, capacity, and capability to engage productively in evidence-based practice,
- They also need to have the ‘analytic competence’ and tools of critical thinking and,
- The cognitive and other tools to productively participate in the process.
The key requirement for deployment
Critically this research found that there needs to be a well thought through strategy for implementing and rolling out evidence based practice which encompasses skills and infrastructure development.
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