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Step 5: Assess

The final step is to assess the effectiveness of your practice and identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.

It's important to reflect on your practice to improve your clinical expertise. You need to asses your application of the research evidence, determine the effectiveness of the strategies that you implemented and consider whether you were able to provide a satisfactory outcome for the patient.

Reflective clinical practice

The measures that you can use to assess the effectiveness of the EBP process can be grouped into three categories: practitioner level, patient level, and system/ organisational (or process) level.

Click on the plus symbols below to learn more about each category.

To consider the effectiveness of EBP at the practitioner level, ask yourself:
  • Did you ask a well-formulated clinical question?
  • Did you consider the best sources of evidence for the type of clinical question?
  • Have you searched the databases efficiently?
  • Did you use the hierarchy of evidence as a guide to the type of evidence that you should be searching for?
  • Where possible, did you search for and use information that is higher up in the hierachy of evidence?
  • Did you appraise the evidence that you found prior to using it in your clinical practice?
  • Are you able to clearly explain to your patients what the evidence means and involve them in shared decision-making where appropriate?
  • Are you proactively monitoring for newly emerging evidence in your field of practice?
Adapted from Hoffmann, T, Bennett, S, & Del Mar, C 2013, Evidence-based practice across the health professions, 2nd ed. Retrieved from ProQuest Ebook Central.
To consider the effectiveness of EBP at the patient level, ask yourself:
  • Was the care plan suitable and appropriate for your patient's unqiue circumstances?
  • Did you consider your patient's values, beliefs and preferences?
  • Did the patient's health status or quality of life improve?
  • Is the patient satisfied with their treatment?
  • Did the patient's length of hospital stay decrease?
  • Did the patient's number of health care visits decrease?
  • What was the patient's attitude towards the treatment plan?
  • Did the patient comply with the treatment plan?
To consider the effectiveness of EBP at the system / organisational level, ask yourself:
  • Did you update policies and procedures based on current guidelines?
  • Are the required clinical tools available to implement current guidelines?
  • Did the length of consultation with the medical practitioner decrease?
Adapted from ICAHE's Learning Hub.

Test your knowledge

Personal clinical audit

In a personal audit, areas for improvement can be identified by comparing your clinical practice to evidence-based standards. It's essential to have a structured approach when evaluating your clinical performance in an allied health care setting.

Image of acronym ASPIRE

The ASPIRE for Quality framework is an evidence-based tool developed by the International Centre for Allied Health Evidence to evaluate clinical performance in South Australian Local Health Networks. It is used as a means for improving the quality of health services.

The ASPIRE for Quality framework is an evidence-based health care evaluation tool that you can use to evaluate your clinical performance.

The ASPIRE model divides the core evaluation tasks between researchers and allied health practitioners, as outlined below. The researchers will initially provide support and guidance which will reduce over time to enable practitioners to establish and maintain independence and promote a sense of ownership of the performance evaluation system.

Adapted from ICAHE Learning Hub.

Further reading