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Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 1999 Dec;15(6):357-62.

Utilization of the Iowa Model in establishing evidence-based nursing practice.

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  • The University of Hong Kong, Department of Nursing Studies, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong. rpiliae@hkucc.hku.hk


Clinical practice based on tradition or established rituals appears to be widespread amongst a variety of nurses and practice settings. However, tradition-based practice may not necessarily be based on sound scientific evidence and could potentially be harmful to patients or result in inappropriate utilization of resources. Conversely, evidence-based practice is the utilization of the best available empirical evidence in the practice setting, to facilitate sound clinical decision-making. Suctioning ventilated patients is a necessary and important aspect of patient care. However, normal saline instillation prior to suctioning, in order to loosen secretions, remains a common nursing procedure despite research suggesting that there is no clear benefit and in some instances may be harmful. Several models have been developed over the past few years to facilitate nursing practice that is based on research or the best available evidence. The Iowa Model, developed at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, serves as a framework to improve patient outcomes, enhance nursing practice and monitor health care costs. Moreover, it facilitates the application of empirical evidence to clinical practice. This paper will discuss the utilization of the Iowa Model to promote evidence-based nursing practice, with regard to normal saline instillation prior to suctioning, in the critical care unit of a 100-bed hospital in Hong Kong. Patient, staff and fiscal outcomes will also be reported.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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