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Int J Med Inform. 1998 Aug-Sep;51(2-3):169-80.

Use of evidence in the process of practice change in a clinical team: a study-forming part of the Autocontrol Project.

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1
Centre for Research and Evaluation in Diagnostics, Centre Universitaire de Santé de l'Estrie, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada.

Abstract

The Autocontrol Project is concerned with the accessing, processing and communication of high quality information so that a clinical team can make and implement decisions for practice change, and then evaluate if improvement has been achieved. High quality information is used as evidence for change. In this study, we have evaluated how evidence is used by a clinical team to explain an identified problem of inappropriate use of blood gas tests. In an experimental study of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, video recordings of team meetings of nurses and doctors were undertaken, structured according to a problem-based format. Evidence of current practice patterns derived from the hospital information system, as well as the results of a questionnaire to the unit's staff about knowledge and use of blood gas measurements, were supplied to the participants beforehand. At the second meeting, the output of the first meetings and a summarised analysis of pertinent literature were made available. This second meeting was required to finalise the list of causes of inappropriate blood gas use and propose pragmatic strategies for practice change. The video data of the meetings were coded to analyse the use of evidence, the categories of causes, issues and solutions proposed, and the quality of team interaction. The results indicate that in order to achieve consensus, the team used different types of evidence, including objective evidence of practice patterns, personal experience about direct and indirect organisational influences, and literature-based research evidence of best practice. Furthermore, group dynamics were favoured by the problem-based meeting structure, and a high level of cognitive critiquing between team members was observed. This research suggests that a combination of approaches involving identification of both operational factors (e.g. appropriate access to different types of evidence and meeting structure) and cognitive and behavioural approaches (e.g. ensuring expression of different viewpoints) is needed to support strategic decision-making for practice change in a clinical unit. This combined approach should favourably influence the provision of an effective and efficient evidence support environment for the clinical team.

PMID:
9794332
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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