Qualification: Level 4 Certificate in Principles of Leadership and Management for Adult Care (RQF)
Unit: Unit 18: Decision Making in Adult Care
Learning outcome: 1 Understand effective decision-making
Assessment criteria: 1.4 Explain how to use evidence based practice to inform effective decision making
- Identifying the problem or question: The first step in using evidence-based practice is to identify the specific issue, question, or decision that needs to be addressed. This could be anything from deciding on a specific treatment approach to determining the best way to communicate with an individual.
- Searching for relevant research: Once the problem or question has been identified, the next step is to search for relevant research evidence. This might involve searching databases of academic articles, looking at systematic reviews, or seeking out clinical guidelines or policy documents.
- Appraising the evidence: Not all evidence is of equal value. Therefore, it’s important to appraise the quality of the evidence found. This could involve considering the methodology used in the research, the size of the study, whether the research is peer-reviewed, and the relevance of the evidence to the specific context and individuals being supported.
- Integrating evidence with other factors: Even the best research evidence cannot be applied in isolation. It’s important to consider other factors such as the individual’s wishes and values, the care supervisor’s professional judgement and expertise, and practical and ethical considerations.
- Implementing the decision: Once the evidence has been considered alongside other factors, it can be used to inform the decision. This could involve using the evidence to inform a care plan, to guide interactions with an individual, or to shape the overall approach to supporting individuals.
- Evaluating the outcome: After the decision has been implemented, it’s important to evaluate the outcome. This could involve collecting data to see if the decision has had the desired effect, seeking feedback from the individual and others involved in their care, and reflecting on whether the decision was the right one.
- Sharing findings: Evidence-based practice also involves sharing findings with others, so they can learn from the process and possibly apply the findings to their own practice.
- Using evidence-based practice in this way can help to ensure that decisions are not just based on personal opinions or anecdotal evidence, but are grounded in the best available research evidence, tailored to the individual’s needs and wishes, and informed by professional judgement and ethical considerations.