Differentiating Research, Evidence-Based Practice, and Quality Improvement

Differentiating Research, Evidence-Based Practice, and Quality Improvement

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The purpose of this assignment is to differentiate quality improvement (QI), evidence-based practice (EBP), and research.

Create a graphic image or visual model differentiating quality improvement, evidence-based practice, and research. You can use PowerPoint, Smart Art in Word, or other software that creates a graphic. Be creative in your design. Include the following information in your graphic image or visual model:

Compare and contrast quality improvement, evidence-based practice, and research. Identify at least one similarity and difference for each.
Provide an example of quality improvement, evidence-based practice, and research.
Explain why quality improvement, evidence-based practice, and research would be applied in a health care setting.
This assignment requires a minimum of two peer-reviewed scholarly sources.
While APA style is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and documentation of sources should be presented using APA formatting guidelines, which can be found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. Differentiating Research, Evidence-Based Practice, and Quality Improvement



The visual model above shows the similarities and differences in quality improvement (QI), evidence-based practice (EBP), and research. The Venn diagram from Microsoft Word’s SmartArt graphics was applied to illustrate how the three approaches overlap and their differences.

Beginning with the similarity, QI, EBP, and research all seek to address a problem or an issue. They all aim to improve a situation. Research develops new knowledge to address an existing problem. It also responds to an evidence gap by addressing the limitations of previous studies. EBP applies evidence-based interventions proposed in evidence to enhance decision-making and resolve clinical issues. QI aims to improve outcomes by implementing interventions and tracking specific measures to ensure quality improvement.Differentiating Research, Evidence-Based Practice, and Quality Improvement

The three approaches utilize different ways to achieve improvements or problem resolution. Research involves systematic and scientific investigation of phenomena based on a theory. Researchers formulate research questions and hypotheses to guide the study. The core objective of a researcher is to answer the questions. However, researchers also outline the practice implications of their evidence and make recommendations.  EBP entails applying current and valid evidence in practice to address issues. Unlike research, EBP does not generate evidence but utilizes available literature to identify evidence-based solutions to current problems.  QI involves implementing a project to improve specific outcomes in an organization. The QI process can include problem identification, intervention framing, planning, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination. QI contrasts with EBP and research in that it goes beyond studying or applying evidence to assess outcomes for continued improvement (Grys, 2022). The process of addressing problems in research, EBP, and QI varies significantly.

QI, EBP, and research apply different methodologies. The research employs quantitative and qualitative methods. Researchers choose the methodology to utilize based on the objective. Quantitative methodologies focus on and analyze numerical data, while qualitative approaches analyze non-numerical data sets.  EBP also employs models for translating evidence, such as the knowledge-to-action (KTA), IOWA, and OTTAWA models. The models enable EBP practitioners to apply credible evidence in decision-making and practice. EBP practitioners identify inquiry questions, formulate PICOT queries, gather relevant evidence, critically appraise the evidence, and integrate the evidence into clinical knowledge while considering patients’ values and preferences. Besides, they evaluate the EBP decision/practice and disseminate outcomes.  QI utilizes quality improvement models, such as plan-do-study-act (PDSA), lean, and Six Sigma. The QI models allow a systematic data-based project implementation. QI practitioners can track process and outcome measures, enabling continuous and sustainable improvements. Unlike research and EBP, QI does not involve comprehensive research. Conversely, in QI projects, practitioners are wholly involved in implementing changes for improvement (Grys, 2022). Overall, the QI, EBP, and research differ in the methods used to meet their objectives. Differentiating Research, Evidence-Based Practice, and Quality Improvement

The three approaches can be best understood with examples. In the Venn diagram illustrated above, the author indicates how research, EBP, and QI can address medication administration errors (MAE).  MAEs are medication errors that occur during the administration phase. The errors are common in hospitalized patients. One of the contributing factors is the lack of medication reconciliation at the bedside. Scholars have recommended implementing bedside scanning and other technologies to enable medication verification (Ciapponi et al., 2021). Based on this background, an example of research would be a randomized controlled trial study to determine the effect of medication verification at the bedside on MAEs.  The goal is to gather data on the impact of the intervention proposed in previous evidence on particular outcomes to determine its effectiveness for further application.  An example of EBP related to the intervention can implement bedside medication scanning or verification based on the evidence to address medication errors.  The relevant QI project would be to reduce medication administration errors by implementing bedside scanners for effective medication verification. Based on the examples, one can understand how the three differ.

Having understood the differences among QI, EBP, and research, knowing the significance of the approaches in a healthcare setting is essential. In the U.S., the push for value-based care has been on, necessitating healthcare organizations to improve care delivery and outcomes.  Programs and credentialing bodies, such as the Magnet Recognition Program, call for a healthcare or nursing practice based on quality evidence, a culture of inquiry, and continuous improvement. Through research, EBP, and QI healthcare facilities can achieve these goals to gain magnet status. Furthermore, reimbursing agencies, mandate healthcare organizations to improve specific outcomes, such as medication errors, to maintain optimal patient safety and care quality. Through research, healthcare organizations can create new clinical knowledge to inform decision-making and practice. Also, EBP can help clinicians to use updated interventions for the best health outcomes. Furthermore, QI can enable healthcare organizations improve and maintain quality outcomes (Grys, 2022)Differentiating Research, Evidence-Based Practice, and Quality Improvement. Research, QI, and EBP are crucial in improving and maintaining clinical practice.



Ciapponi, A., Nievas, S. E. F., Seijo, M., Rodríguez, M. B., Vietto, V.,  García-Perdomo, H. A., Virgilio, S.,  Fajreldines, A. V., Tost, J.,  Rose, C. J., & Garcia-Elorrio, E. (2021). Reducing medication errors for adults in hospital settings. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2021(11), CD009985.

Grys, C. (2022).  Evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and research: A visual model. Nursing, 52(11), 47-49. Differentiating Research, Evidence-Based Practice, and Quality Improvement

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