A New Model of Tracheostomy Care: Closing the Research-Practice Gap
AGENCY FOR HEALTHCARE RESEARCH AND QUALITY ROCKVILLE MD
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Performance improvements have brought about fundamental changes in the past year at Walter Reed Army Medical Center WRAMC, where a concerted effort is underway to put current research into clinical practice. Tracheostomy care and suctioning became the pilot procedure for these changes in November 2002. What began as a unit-level initiative quickly developed into a Department of Nursing project. The focus of the project is adapting the hospitals existing performance improvement model to better facilitate evidence-based practice. Initial surveys on tracheostomy care conducted throughout the hospital showed an inconsistent level of knowledge and variation in clinical practice. The inconsistencies represented a patient safety threat in the form of nosocomial infections, prolonged hospitalizations, airway complications, and even death. To address these issues, the Nursing Performance Improvement and Nursing Research Departments entered into a research collaboration. Representatives form these departments worked with clinical experts to develop a plan and timeline for conducting a tracheostomy care project with the goal of implementing evidence into practice and thereby improving patient safety at the hospital. The group completed initial data collection in April 2003 and then began work on the evidence-based procedure. A literature review was completed using online search engines such as MEDLINERegistered, the Cochrane Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature CINAHLRegistered, the Cochrane Collaboration, MedscapeRegistered, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses AACN practice guidelines, and the Joanna Briggs Institute. Pertinent articles were identified and evaluated by two independent reviewers. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality AHRQ levels of evidence were used to grade more than 30 articles.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Medical Facilities, Equipment and Supplies