Notable differences between research, evidence-based practice, and quality improvement

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There are notable differences between research, evidence-based practice, and quality improvement, but they all promote quality in our organization and allow us to identify excellence in the delivery of care and services to patients.

Most concrete evidence stems from research. Research is all about developing new knowledge and validating existing knowledge. Evidence-based practice (EBP) isn’t about developing new knowledge or validating existing knowledge. It’s about translating the evidence and applying it to clinical decision-making. The purpose of EBP is to use the best evidence available to make patient-care decisions. Evidence-based practice (EBP) involves innovation in terms of finding and translating the best evidence into clinical practice (Fowler, 2021). EBP goes beyond research use and includes clinical expertise as well as patient preferences and values. The use of EBP takes into consideration that some evidence is that of opinion leaders and experts, even though no definitive knowledge from research results exists.

My organization’s quality assurance performance improvement (QAPI) plan is based on current quality improvement practices and the guidelines published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Hospice Conditions of Participation. The program consists of quality and performance improvement activities that are designed to maintain and improve the quality of patient care, patient/family satisfaction, management, and business functions while adhering to state and federal regulatory requirements. Our QAPI plan also focuses on three functional areas including clinical practices, management practices, and risk management practices.

These differences help improve safety and quality by closing the gaps between research and practice and by changing organizational behaviors. Through research, EBP, and QI programs nurses can generate new knowledge, advance existing knowledge, and improve bedside care.

Fowler S. B. (2021). Quality Improvement, Evidence-Based Practice, and Research. Home healthcare now, 39(3), 178.

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