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EBR: new name, new features for AJCC journal club.

Evidence-based practice is increasingly advocated to promote best practices in healthcare as well as to improve patients' outcomes. Many factors have led to the promotion of evidence-based practice as the new standard for healthcare, among them the publication of the Institute of Medicine report titled Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century (2001), which challenged clinicians to provide healthcare based on available scientific evidence.

As Melynk and Fineout-Over holdt note in their Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing & Healthcare (Williams & Wilkins, 2005), evidence-based practice is linked to incorporating research and considering the strength of the research evidence when making clinical decisions. This is especially important in critical care settings, where new research findings can improve patient care and patient outcomes.

Since September 2002, each issue of the American Journal of Critical Care (AJCC) has designated an article as the journal club feature. The purpose of the journal club feature is to facilitate discussion and review of a research study and to discuss implications of the study for clinical practice. As the focus on evidence-based practice has expanded, this feature has given readers of the journal access to valuable information that is most relevant to clinical practice. Beginning with the May 2007 issue, the journal club feature has a new name, "Evidence-Based Review"- -or EBR for short--and it features several improvements to make it more accessible and relevant to AJCC readers.

The purpose of the EBR section is to provide a review and critique of research and evidence-based practices, highlighting implications for nurses in acute and critical care settings. As such, one new component is a discussion with the study's primary investigator to find out more about how the idea for the research study originated. By including this information, we hope to shed some light on behind-the-scenes planning and analysis that led to the study questions and the research itself, demystifying the research process for those who might like to get involved with research at their own institutions. Readers will find this new feature on the EBR page in the callout box titled "Investigator Spotlight."

Another enhancement is the presence of eLetters on the AJCC Web site (www.ajcconline.org). This function enables readers of the EBR article (and other new and archived articles) to begin or contribute to an online dialogue about the topic or to pose questions to other readers. After reading either the full-text or .PDF version of the EBR article online, visitors to the Web site simply click "Respond to This Article" from the list of choices on the right side of the page. This will prompt them to share their name and the text of their comments, after which they are permitted to review their remarks before sending them to the journal's editors. Upon editor approval, their contribution will be added to the Web site and can be viewed by other AJCC readers for up to six months.

Because evidence-based practice includes evaluating research for use in practice, we feel that these enhancements to the AJCC journal club feature should help to promote the use of research in clinical practice--a goal we are all striving to meet as we seek to incorporate the best possible care for acutely and critically ill patients and their families.

By Ruth Kleinpell, RN, PhD
COPYRIGHT 2007 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Kleinpell, Ruth
Publication:AACN News
Date:May 1, 2007
Words:547
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