243947 Organizational readiness of local health departments for evidence-based practice

Monday, October 31, 2011: 1:10 PM

Linda Olson Keller, DNP, RN, FAAN , School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Susan Strohschein, MS, PHCNS-BC , School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Dawn Reckinger, PhD, MPH , Consultant, Lino Lakes, MN
Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a systematic approach that guides decision making to promote optimal outcomes. Driving forces for evidence-based practice are demands for outcomes from the policy arena and the move towards accreditation of public health departments. As part of a project to promote the use of EBP by public health nurses, the organizational readiness of local health departments to implement evidence based practices was evaluated. The project utilized a standardized 18-item organizational readiness instrument adapted for local health departments. The response rate among the 73 public health directors was 96% (n=70). Overall, 57% of health departments reported that they were either not ready for or were trying to get ready for EBP. Factors that promoted agency readiness for EBP included an administrator who advocated for EBP, staff access to quality computers and electronic databases; staff nurses who advocated for EBP; and proficient computer skills. Barriers to EBP included a lack of nurse scientists to assist with the generation of evidence when it did not exist; lack of librarian assistance and librarian EBP skills; and a lack of experienced staff EBP mentors. This session will present the impact of an EBP project that trained and supported evidence mentors in local health departments on organizational readiness. The Champion model has been successfully implemented in acute care settings but had not previously been tested in public health departments. This session will also identify organizational and staff attributes associated with increased readiness for EBP.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
1. Define organizational readiness for evidence-based practice 2. List three measures of organizational readiness for evidence-based practice 3. Describe barriers and promoters of evidence-based practice in health departments

Keywords: Public Health Nursing, Evidence Based Practice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked for almost thirty years in both service and academia as a public health nurse consultant and educator. I am the director of a large grant that is increasing the utilization of evidence-based practice.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.