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Evidence-Based Practice: Improving the Quality of Perinatal Care

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Publication details

DateAccepted/In press - 14 Dec 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 5 Jun 2019
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)193-198
Early online date5/06/19
Original languageEnglish


BACKGROUND: For clinical research findings to improve the quality of care and outcomes for newborn infants and their families, they need to be implemented in policy and adopted in practice.

METHODS: We describe the principles of effective dissemination and implementation of research findings and highlight examples of collaborative quality improvement strategies to ensure that guidelines, protocols, policies and practices reflect research-informed evidence.

RESULTS: Passive dissemination of research findings is generally ineffective in driving change. Implementation strategies that use multi-faceted approaches acting on different barriers to change are better at driving improvements in the quality of care practices. These initiatives are increasingly embedded within regional, national and international networks of neonatal care centres that collaborate in conducting research, implementing its findings and auditing its uptake. Examples of successful network-based collaborative quality improvement programmes include efforts to increase use of evidence-based strategies to prevent hospital-acquired bloodstream infections, optimise surfactant replacement for preterm infants, reduce the incidence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, improve antibiotic stewardship and promote the use of human milk to prevent necrotising enterocolitis in very-low-birth-weight infants.

CONCLUSIONS: Effective dissemination and implementation are essential for research evidence to improve quality of care and outcomes for newborn infants and their families. Multifaceted initiatives within network-based collaborative quality improvement programmes facilitate continuous audit and benchmarking cycles to ensure equity of access to evidence-based care practices.

Bibliographical note

© 2019 S. Karger AG, Basel. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

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