From the staff development bookshelf: Proving the value of staff development with evidence

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, July 1, 2011

Being able to produce evidence that links staff development products and services to organizational effectiveness is imperative. This is the essence of evidence-based practice (EBP) in staff development. It shifts the focus from what kinds of products and services we provide to how the products and services we provide impact patient care and job performance.

Ultimately, all staff development activities should be analyzed for a link between education and patient care outcomes and job performance. EBP in staff development is the foundation for this analysis, which involves the following actions:

  • Identify staff development products and services, beginning with those that have the most impact (or the potential for the most impact) on the organization (e.g., orientation, accreditation efforts, etc.)
  • For each product or service, identify existing sources of data that will be translated into evidence, (e.g., retention and turnover rates), how that data is collected, how often data is collected, and additional sources of data that need to be but are not currently in use as a data source
  • Describe for each product or service the mechanism for analyzing data, how often data analysis occurs, and how often products and services are reviewed and revised based on identified evidence
  • Determine for each product or service best practices and benchmarks
  • Verify conclusions by reviewing the literature for support and identifying current or possible research projects that will help to further verify best practices and benchmarks
  • Review and revise products and services based on the analysis of evidence in order to achieve best practices

Source: Book excerpt adapted from The Survival of Staff Development
Measure Outcomes and Demonstrate Value to Establish an Indispensable Department by Adrianne E. Avillion, D.Ed, RN.

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