Sustaining change can be difficult, as there are many variables that can affect implementation. One critical component of EBP is to ensure that practice change is part of an organization’s culture so it will continue to impact outcomes over time. Name two potential barriers that may prevent your EBP change proposal (based on after discharge follow up) from continuing to obtain the same desired results 6 months to a year from now, and your strategies for overcoming these barriers.

Introduction

Implementing evidence-based practice (EBP) is essential in improving healthcare outcomes. However, sustaining change over time can be challenging due to various barriers that may hinder long-term success. This paper will identify two potential barriers that may prevent the desired results of an EBP change proposal focused on after discharge follow-up from being maintained six months to a year later. Furthermore, strategies will be proposed to overcome these barriers and ensure sustained change in practice.

Barrier 1: Lack of staff engagement and buy-in

One significant barrier to sustaining the desired results of an EBP change proposal is a lack of staff engagement and buy-in. When healthcare professionals are not fully engaged or do not believe in the benefits of the proposed changes, implementation efforts can be met with resistance or poor adherence. This lack of engagement may stem from various reasons, such as perceived workload increase, skepticism about the intervention’s effectiveness, or resistance to change.

To address this barrier, several strategies can be employed:

1. Clear communication and education: The first step is to ensure that all staff members have a clear understanding of the rationale behind the proposed change and its expected benefits. Communication should be transparent, emphasizing the evidence supporting the change and its potential impact on patient outcomes. By providing education and addressing concerns, staff are more likely to understand the importance of the change and become engaged in the process.

2. Involvement of key stakeholders: Involving key stakeholders, such as nurses, physicians, and other relevant healthcare professionals, in the decision-making process can help generate buy-in and foster ownership of the proposed change. This can be achieved through regular meetings, engaging stakeholders in discussions, and giving them opportunities to provide input and feedback. By involving stakeholders, their concerns and insights can be addressed, enhancing their commitment to the change.

3. Provide resources and support: Healthcare professionals need to be equipped with the necessary resources and support to implement the proposed change effectively. This may include providing additional staffing or training to handle increased workload, ensuring access to relevant technology or tools, and offering ongoing support through regular supervision or mentoring. By addressing the practical aspects of the change, healthcare professionals are more likely to be engaged and willing to sustain the desired results.

Barrier 2: Lack of organizational support and infrastructure

Another significant barrier to sustaining change is the lack of organizational support and infrastructure. Without adequate support from the healthcare organization, EBP initiatives may fail to thrive over time. This lack of support can manifest in various ways, such as insufficient funding, limited access to necessary resources, or ineffective governance structures.

To overcome this barrier, the following strategies can be employed:

1. Establish a culture of EBP: Creating a culture of EBP within the organization is vital for sustaining change. This can be achieved by recognizing and rewarding evidence-based practices, providing ongoing education and training in EBP principles, and fostering collaboration among healthcare professionals to share knowledge and experiences. By embedding EBP into the organizational culture, it becomes a norm that is more likely to be sustained.

2. Allocate resources and infrastructure: Adequate allocation of resources, including funding, technology, and staffing, is critical for sustaining EBP initiatives. Organizations should ensure that the necessary resources are available to support the proposed changes and promote their successful implementation. This may involve budgetary considerations, securing necessary technology or equipment, and ensuring sufficient staffing levels to support the change. By investing in the infrastructure needed for EBP, organizations can facilitate sustained implementation.

3. Leadership support and accountability: Strong leadership support and accountability are crucial for sustaining change in healthcare organizations. Leaders should actively champion the proposed change, communicate its importance, and provide guidance and support to staff throughout the implementation process. Furthermore, holding individuals and teams accountable for adhering to the change and monitoring its outcomes is essential for sustained success. By demonstrating leadership support and accountability, organizations can foster a culture of commitment to EBP and maximize the likelihood of sustained change.

Conclusion

Sustaining change in healthcare practice requires careful consideration of potential barriers and effective strategies to overcome them. The identified barriers of lack of staff engagement and buy-in and lack of organizational support and infrastructure can significantly impact the long-term success of an EBP change proposal. However, through clear communication, stakeholder involvement, resource allocation, and leadership support, these barriers can be addressed, enhancing the chances of sustained implementation and desired outcomes. By implementing these strategies, healthcare organizations can foster a culture of EBP and ultimately improve patient outcomes.