Health IT as a Source of Evidence-Based Practice

HealthIT as a Source of Evidence-Based Practice

HealthIT as a Source of EBP

Theapplication of the concept of evidence-based-practices (EBP) hasgained popularity in the field of nursing. The EBP involves the useof scientific evidence to inform the processes of decision making(McGonigle &amp Mastrian, 2015). This paper will provide adiscussion on the application of health information technology (HIT)in supporting EBP.

Applicationof Resources in the Scenario

Resourcesdocumented in the scenario provide scientific evidence that can helpthe organization make informed decisions. The authors of the scenarioused the scientific evidence to demonstrate the association betweenthe long working work hours and a decline in the level of patientsafety. For example, the evidence gathered from the report publishedby the Institute of Medicine indicated that a 12-hour shift increasedthe risk of fatigue than an 8-hour schedule. A health careorganization can use this evidence to develop a shift plan that willminimize fatigue among the nurses, thus increasing the level ofpatient safety. In this case, the resources contained in the scenariowill play the role of helping the organization adjust its practicesusing the scientific evidence.

Descriptionof the Practice Concern: Medial errors

Thesafety of patients who seek for medical care from the health carefacilities has become an issue of concern in the nursing practice.The decline in the level of safety occurs when the number of medicalerrors increase, which results in a decrease in the patient outcome.An increase in incidents of medical errors is an issue of concernbecause patients expected to find assistance that will help themrecover from their present illness. About 60 % of the cases ofmedical errors are reported among patients aged above 65 years(Howell, Burns, Bouras, Donaldson, Athnausiou &amp Darzi, 2015). Thelack of adequate care providers is among the key factors that resultin a decline in safety levels (Kirwan, Mathews &amp Scott, 2013).The patient incident reporting can play a critical role in minimizingthe chances for the occurrence of medical errors (Ward, McEachan,Lawton, Armitage, Watt &amp Wright, 2011). Therefore, medical errorsare caused by multiple factors, which suggest that they can only beaddressed using a combination of strategies.

TheApplication of the Health Information Technology

Thetechnology was used to locate three sources of EBP, thus reducing theneed to apply the traditional approaches. The three sources wereretrieved from the online databases. The “key-word” searchtechnique was used to identity sources that were relevant to thehealth issue of patient safety. Some of the key words typed on thesearch engine include “patient safety” and “medical errors”.The relevant sources were selected out of thousands of options.

Thefirst source was the research article published by Marcia Kirwan,Anne Mathews, and Anne Scott. This article provided scientificevidence indicating that a poor work environment contributes towardsan increase in medical errors (Kirwan, Mathews &amp Scott, 2013).The second resource is an article published by Ann-Marrie Howell,George Bouras, Elaine Burns, Liam Donaldson, Ara Darzi, and ThanosAthanasiou. This article provided empirical evidence showing that thesafety incident reports can minimize medical errors (Howell etal.,2015). In addition, an article published by Jane Ward, RosemaryMcEachan, Gerry Armitage, Rebecca Lawton, John Wright, and Ian Wattwas located using the same process. This article provided scientificevidence showing that a greater involvement of patients during theprocess of delivering care can minimize medical errors (Ward et al.,2011).

HowHealth IT Supports EBP

Themodern technology supports EBP in many ways. For example, onlinedatabases increase the accessibility of empirical data that has beenpublished by experts and scholars. Nurses require a computer andinternet connection only to access the online databases. Articles inthese databases contain scientific evidence that help nurses makeinformed decisions on a daily basis.


TheHIT has replaced the traditional methods of accessing scientificevidence. This makes it easy to apply EBP in enhancing patientoutcome and minimizing medical errors. The HIT supports EBP byincreasing the accessibility of the scientific evidence.


Howell,A., Burns, E., Bouras, G., Donaldson, J., Athnausiou, T., &ampDarzi, A. (2015). Can Patient Safety Incident Reports be used toCompare Hospital Safety? Results from a Qualitative Analysis of theEnglish National Reporting and Learning System Data. PLoSONE,10 (12), 1-15.

Kirwan,M., Mathews, A. &amp Scott, P. (2013). The impact of the workenvironment of nurses on patient safety outcomes: A multi-levelmodeling approach. InternationalJournal of Nursing Studies,50, 253-263.

McGonigle,D. &amp Mastrian, G. (2015). Nursinginformatics and the knowledge (3rded.).Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Ward,K., McEachan, R., Lawton, R., Armitage, G., Watt, I. &amp Wright, J.(2011). Patient involvement in patient safety: Protocol fordeveloping an intervention using patient reports of organizationalsafety and patient incident reporting. BMCHealth Services Research,1, 11-130.