Case Management

Sneak peek: Strategies to help staff understand, review research

Case Management Weekly, October 17, 2012

You probably know that you should remain current with respect to research, and you know that you should use evidence-based practices on a daily basis.

However, much research is always under way. Reviewing papers, determining which are useful, and applying the results takes time, something most case managers have little to spare.

Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colo., has developed an innovative approach to help nursing staff stay up to date and interpret the latest research effectively. The hospital established a journal club-much like a book club-for medical literature, says Kenneth Hosack, MA, director of marketing and public relations. The club designates blocks of time for staff members to focus on research and also provides peer support to help analyze the results.  

Staff members know much about understanding and applying research at Craig, which is considered one of the top rehabilitation hospitals in the nation for patients with catastrophic injuries, says Hosack. It's also a large research facility with 22 full-time researchers, he says.

Clinicians study the latest research and inspire the facility's researchers to explore areas that can help ­patients, says Hosack. "We're really in an enviable position. The clinical people and the research people talk to each other and have a history of collaboration," he says.

It's no surprise that evidence-based medicine is a priority at the facility. "We do not believe that there should be as much variability as there is in practices across geography and across payer groups as there currently seems to be. And we support the continued use of evidence-based guidelines," says Hosack.

Yet guidelines should allow flexibility. "You don't want the guidelines to be so rigid that they don't make sense," he says.

Use of evidence-based practices is a priority at Craig, so its nurses are required to review or critique at least two research articles annually, says Catherine Davis, BSN, MPS, RN, CRRN, the hospital's telehealth program coordinator. Craig established the journal club to make it easier for nursing staff to meet this goal. Nurses from each unit select research articles and lead discussion groups. Each unit leader selects articles six times annually. This amounts to 24 articles ­annually for the hospital's four units. The club meets for 30 minutes once or twice monthly. Meeting times alternate to accommodate nurses on different shifts.

 The journal club meets up to 24 times annually, and units alternate hosting responsibility. Nurses are expected to attend several meetings annually. Meeting discussions focus on whether studies were well executed and whether they should drive evidence-based practice, Davis says.

Editor’s note: This article is adapted from an article in the October Case Management Monthly published by HCPro, Inc.



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