Elevating the standard of evidence-based practice crucial to better healthcare

A statement from the directors of the Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for Evidence-based Practice in Nursing and Healthcare at the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University:


Last week, a report was issued that claimed officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were instructed to refrain from using the phrases “evidence-based” and “science-based” in its 2018 budget documents. Whether this claim is completely accurate or not, it provides a tremendous window of opportunity to educate the public and policy makers on the importance of evidence-based healthcare.


The United States spends more money on healthcare than any western country, yet ranks 37th in health outcomes. One key reason for this ranking is that many healthcare systems and clinicians across the United States do not consistently use the evidence generated from science to implement evidence-based practice. Instead, care is often based on tradition (for example, “that’s the way we do it here”) or on outdated, non-science-based information. Findings from a strong body of research indicate that evidence-based or science-based healthcare enhances the quality and safety of care, reduces healthcare costs, and improves population health outcomes. However, it often takes years or even decades to translate findings from science into real-world clinical settings to improve patient care and outcomes.


Embracing evidence-based practice as a culture is long overdue in American healthcare. Healthcare environments are under enormous pressure. Medical errors, the third leading cause of death in the United States, result in 200,000 to 400,000 deaths every year. Healthcare costs continue to escalate and there is still a tendency to deliver too much care instead of the right evidence-based care. Eliminating “evidence-based” and “science-based” from our language will set us back decades and jeopardize the health of Americans.


At the Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for Evidence-based Practice in Nursing and Healthcare at The Ohio State University, we will continue to use the best evidence from science to advance evidence-based care and health policy to ensure the highest quality of safe care, which the people of our great country deserve. 


Provided by Executive Director Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, and Senior Director Lynn Gallagher-Ford, PhD, RN, DPFNAP.


Listen to College of Nursing Dean Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk discuss the word ban and evidence-based practice (EBP) on WOSU Radio's All Sides with Ann Fisher, on Tuesday, December 19 



More about Dean Melnyk:

Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FNAP, FAAN, serves The Ohio State University as vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer, dean and professor of the Ohio State College of Nursing, professor of pediatrics and psychiatry of the Ohio State College of Medicine, and executive director of the Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for Evidence-based Practice (EBP) in Nursing and Healthcare. The Fuld Institute for EBP was founded at Ohio State in 2016 with a $6.5 million grant from the Helene Fuld National Health Trust. Melnyk is a world-renowned expert in evidence-based practice and intervention research, the author of over more than 300 publications, co-editor of five books, including Evidence-based Practice in Nursing & Healthcare: A Guide to Best Practice and Implementing EBP: Real World Success Stories. She also serves as the editor of the journal Worldviews on Evidence-based Nursing.


More about Dr. Gallagher-Ford:

Lynn Gallagher-Ford, PhD, RN, DPFNAP, NE-BC, senior director, Fuld Institute for EBP, director, Transdisciplinary Clinical Practice at the Fuld Institute for EBP, clinical associate professor, College of Nursing at The Ohio State University. She has 30 years of experience in maternal and child health nursing in roles that range from bedside clinician to chief nursing officer. She co-authored a book on implementation of EBP competencies in healthcare and has published multiple EBP studies. She serves as assistant editor of Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing.