In determining whether the current climate of healthcare represents an opportunity for evidence-based improvement for my current organization, I would say that the pandemic has shined the light on patient safety and the Department of Defense health crisis. The current organization I am reviewing is the Defense Health Agency under which my facility the 23rd Medical Group falls under. There is sufficient evidence in literature to substantiate the DoD’s response to the current health crisis of COVID-19 given past health outbreaks. Steps of evidence-based practice (EBPs) can be reviewed from the viewpoint of conducting research and generating knowledge. One such way is the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and patient safety models of transferring information from knowledge, social marketing, social, and organizational innovation, and behavior change. Steps of knowledge transfer through the AHRQ model represent three major stages. Knowledge creation and distillation of conducting research from various delivery systems and transportability to real-world health settings.
With EBP diffusion and dissemination involves collaboration with other professional healthcare leaders in other organizations to distribute knowledge that forms the basis of action. Case in point, the sharing of information from the Centers of Disease Control to military leaders during the pandemic and getting information to audiences. The third stage involves execution and getting health organizations to adopt and use evidence-based research results. The key to EBP is getting the organization to adopt and sustain change into practice (Titler, 2008). The body of evidence that supports the challenge is based on the current pandemic. There is sufficient evidence both in military and civilian healthcare to warrant an opportunity of improvement. Based on what we have learned during the course of the last 20-months, the range of available sources of information have become more widely available. Rising disease rates, limited, funding, and the scientific basis for intervention demands the use of proven strategies to improve population health. EBP approaches and health surveillance along with policymaking are necessary tools to eradicate pandemics and change health-behaviors. The key elements of EBP in public health and military health is:
Engaging the community in assessment and decision-making
Using data and information systems
Making decisions based on peer-reviewed evidence
Applying program planning frameworks
Conducting sound evaluation and disseminating what is found
What has transpired and become a challenge that many organizations have faced, is that many EBP health interventions are implemented on the basis of political and media pressure (Jacobs, Jones, Gabella, Spring, & Brownson, 2012). The evidence I found comparing civilian health facilities to Air Force facilities is that more civilian data is available. While the other military services have reported numbers and responses, there is limited data specific to my site. I do not believe it is population specific but site specific because of a HIPAA related release that happened in July of 2020. This unauthorized disclosure set off a media frenzy via social media for my current facility. Therefore, sharing information is more guarded. On the other hand, with the increase of the COVID delta variant, more opportunities exist for more evidence to become present. Current metrics are that 59,337 Air Force members (military, dependents, civilian, and contractors) have been affected (Af.mil, 2021). Possible outcomes for my organization is an increase in operations that cater to the increase of manpower hours devoted to COVID screening and vaccinations.
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