Transitioning an Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit into Evidence Based Practice: Promoting Knowledge Translation Among Therapists.
Purpose: Purpose: To share a model effective in an Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) for therapists to engage in active Evidence Based Practice (EBP), by: 1) Minimizing the barriers to implement EBP in our IRF. 2) Implementing knowledge translation strategies to impact knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behavior in our therapists. 3) Exercising measures to effectively improve patients’ outcomes above nation’s average. Description: Description: A shift in culture/behavior occurred in our IRF after healthcare system sponsored four of the more experienced physical therapists to return to obtain their transitional DPTs. In addition, hiring more PTs with an entry-level DPT degree, resulted in 50% of the physical therapy workforce having the advanced degree by 2016. Concurrently, PTs, OT’s, and SLP’s joined the clinical ladder program, which inspires therapists to take on leadership roles and advance their education. The implementation of multiple interventions changed our attitudes and behavior, shortening the gap between clinical research and clinical application, resulting in improved patient’s outcomes. Summary of Use: Summary of Use: Our physical therapists showed a strong tendency to underuse research evidence in clinical practice but they had novel ideas and strong motivation to change our unit. As a result, a new position for a physical therapist to become a Clinical Educator in a middle management role was created with strong support from administration, thus; facilitating the implementation of regulations, policies, guidelines, operational and technological innovations, and supporting staff’s professional development. The clinical educator in conjunction with other team members, has been actively engaged in: (1)Diffusing information to managers and directors and to the work force (organizing in-services, completing competencies, allowing access to Continuing Education Units through multidisciplinary rounds, webinars, annual one-day rehab). (2) Implementing a robust Clinical Experience program for PT, PTA, OT, COTA, and SLP students.(3) Synthetizing information to make it comprehensive and accessible to practitioners (ability to access CPG’s, evidenced based information in shared folders and to EBSCO for article research on the healthcare system’s network, OM’s as part of the electronic medical record, etc).(4) Implementing strategies on the day-to-day activities such as coaching/mentoring therapists on clinical practice strategies, equipment use, etc. (6) Convincing stakeholders on EBP implementation (Lite gait, C-Mill, Vector Gait and Safety System, ARJO transfer equipment) and increase climate perception on benefits of EBP among therapists. Importance to Members: Importance to Members: The experience to shift to an EBP in an IRF has proven to be challenging but feasible to implement when a leader mediates between higher management and therapists applying these changes in an IRF. Multiple processes to minimize the interference by general organizational barriers and specific barriers to our setting facilitated this shift. Our unique model can promote KT in this and various settings. Finally, as these changes occur, improved patients outcomes are expected.