From book to bedside: putting evidence to use in the care of the elderly

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

Jt Comm J Qual Improv

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Joint Commission journal on quality improvement

PubMed ID


DOI of Published Version


Start Page


End Page



BACKGROUND: Infusion of research findings into clinical practice is a challenging part of the research process. Because the length of time between discovery and use of knowledge averages 20 years, methods are needed to speed translation of research findings into practice. Few efforts have been made to coordinate the generation of new knowledge with the dissemination of findings from research to improve care of the elderly. RESEARCH-BASED PRACTICE PROTOCOLS: The Research Development and Dissemination Core (RDDC) of the Gerontological Nursing Interventions Research Center (GNIRC) at the University of Iowa emphasizes development of research-based (RB) protocols, which requires collecting relevant literature, critiquing studies, and synthesizing research findings for practice. GNIRC-generated research is disseminated to nurses in practice, and the RDDC links nurses who identify clinical problems in care of the elderly with GNIRC scientists. Currently, 19 RB protocols are offered for dissemination through the RDDC, and 5 protocols are under development. Implementation and evaluation of research-based practices on "Split Thickness Skin Graft Donor Site Care" and "Nasogastric/Nasointestinal Tube Placement" are described. CONCLUSIONS: Lessons learned on the basis of experience in disseminating and implementing research-based practices include the necessity of tailoring them to the local needs of various clinical settings in which they are used, reinfusing them periodically to keep staff motivated, and making them consumer friendly. The challenge remains to integrate these practices into the fiber of organizations and to keep staff educated and motivated to carry out research-based practices to improve the care of the elderly.


Aged, Evidence-Based Medicine, Geriatric Nursing/education/standards, Guidelines as Topic, Humans, Information Services, Intubation, Gastrointestinal, Research, Skin Transplantation

Published Article/Book Citation

The Joint Commission journal on quality improvement, 25:10 (1999) pp.545-556.

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