Forward Together: An Evidence-Based Practice Partnership
Background The University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program initiated an innovative partnership with Children’s of Mississippi (COM) hospital to teach DNP students and COM nurses (COMNs) how to translate evidence into practice. The project engaged stakeholders to prioritize the individual evidence needs of five COM units and build relationships among evidence-based practice (EBP) champions. Academic/practice partnerships can enhance educational programs and help nurses become well-positioned to lead change and improve the quality and safety of healthcare delivery. Objectives The purpose of this partnership was to pair DNP students with COMNs and train them to: -Develop clinical leadership skills to lead change; -Define EBPs for the clinical area; -Conduct unbiased clinical audits (CAs) and engage in quality improvement (QI) processes; -Design and execute strategies to implement EBPs. Methods Five COMNs were paired with five DNP students to address priority questions identified by hospital leadership. All completed an evidence implementation training program (EITP) that included two, week-long intensive workshops. In the intervening 6 months between the workshops, the pairs led evidence implementation projects (EIPs) using CA methodology on five COM units. JBI Evidence Summaries were used to identify current evidence and CA criteria for each EIP. Compliance with EBPs were measured at baseline and after implementing strategies while prioritizing the needs of the evidence users at the clinical sites. Results Overall Hospital leadership identified the COMNs as QI Champions who have the skills and tools to continue to lead EIPs within the organization. EIP reports were submitted for publication, and 4/5 (80%) were accepted for publication. Impact on patients and healthcare consumers Positive patient and organizational outcomes were achieved with the EIPs. CAs revealed improvements in compliance (32%, 38.5%, 43%, 47%, and 78%) with EBPs on all five units. Conclusions The EITP improved DNP scholarship and provided a framework for translating evidence into practice in a short period of time. This innovative academic/practice partnership benefits DNP students, clinical nurses, and healthcare organizations. Other organizations can use this as a model to implement partnerships to improve the quality and safety of healthcare delivery using evidence.