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Is Evidence-Based Care the Best Care?

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Lynn McLaughlan C3389847                                                      K101 TMA05                                                              

Essay Plan

'Is evidence-based care the best way of ensuring that we get care right?'

Introduction - Define 'evidence-based care'

                - Explain what is meant by ensuring 'that we get care right'.

                - Discuss accountability.

              - Discuss guidelines and protocols.

                - Briefly explain the points I intend to cover.

Main body - Advantages of evidence-based care

              - Evidence/ case studies from module materials to support this.

              - Disadvantages of evidence-based care.

              - Evidence/ case studies from module materials to support this.

              - Alternative approaches to 'getting care right.'

Conclusion - Summarise the main points I have made about the advantages and    

          disadvantages of evidence-based care.

           - Then add my conclusion to the question.

Lynn McLaughlan C3389847                                              K101 TMA05

'Is evidence-based care the best way of ensuring that we get care right?’

Evidence-based care can be defined as following up to date guidelines and protocols in a health and social care setting, which are written by professional bodies. Research studies are conducted and the evidence from the research shows the right and wrong ways care has been provided. This evidence can then be used to guide how care should be provided. The aim of evidence-based care is to replace care practices based on tradition, with safe effective and appropriate care practices, that are based on proven up to date evidence. ‘Evidence-based care means that care is based on research evidence that it works, rather than traditional practices that may be outdated’ (Moule and Hek (2011). In order to consider if this is the best practice to ensure that we get care right, it is vital to explore both sides of the argument. Practicing evidence-based care has advantages and disadvantages which will be discussed in this essay.

In order to get care right, everyone must be accountable. Being accountable means you take responsibility for everything that you do and also for the things that you fail to do and you must be willing to uphold and validate your actions to others so that they can then judge whether you have adequately fulfilled your duties. Accountability isn’t only about personal practice, team leaders and service managers must also be accountable, this is professional accountability. It applies to every aspect of work and at every level within an organisation.   Organisations and social care workers are accountable to many people and agencies and this can often lead to conflicts of accountability. Accountability can also be established by acknowledging the perspective and experiences of service users when developing and reviewing social care services.

Another way of ensuring we get care right is by using protocols and guidelines to regulate health and social care work. These are a formal set of instructions which provide authoritative guidance on what to do in particular circumstances. are written by professional bodies such as NICE and SCIE. Those guidelines are put into practice by health care organisations to make sure that care workers ensure that they provide a good care service. It is also important to involve service users in the creation of protocols and guidelines. ‘If this does not happen, professionals will make assumptions about what patients want and need or pay little attention to the issue. The result is likely to be service-focussed, shaped to meet the needs of the organisation.’ (Shuttleworth, 2003, p16).

Evidence-based care has both advantages and disadvantages of ensuring that care is effective in our society. In learning guide 15, Activity 15.4, Marilyn Francis emphasizes some of the key benefits of evidence-based practice. Primarily, evidence-based care ensures that we abide by the guidelines and protocols to allow safe practice and patient safety. It ensures that we do our job accurately. Another advantage is that it encourages professional integrity within the company and also amongst work colleagues. It also offers guidance, which is particularly valuable for newly qualified staff. Working with protocols and guidelines also provides professional boundaries and a more consistent service.

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