Evidence-Based Best Practices in Ultrasound Probe Reprocessing
Medical teams today use evidence-based practice (EBP) to be more effective in changing their clinical practice. They need to have a comprehensive understanding and knowledge in their decision-making process of how to critically analyze and review peer-reviewed published research to obtain best research evidence.
Why is Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Important?
EBP aims to provide the most effective care that is available, improving patient outcomes. With EBP, patients can expect to receive the most effective care based on the best available evidence.
EBP promotes an attitude of inquiry in health professionals and starts them thinking about:
- Why am I doing this in this way?
- Is there evidence that can guide me to do this in a more effective way?
Is All Published Research of Good Quality?
Not all research is of sufficient quality to inform clinical decision-making. Therefore, you need to critically appraise evidence before using it to inform your clinical decision-making. The three major aspects of evidence that you need to critically appraise are:
- Validity – can you trust it?
- Impact – are the results clinically important?
- Applicability – can you apply it to your patient?
EBP also plays a role in ensuring that finite health resources are used wisely and that relevant evidence is considered when decisions are made about funding health services.
Has the Correct Research Methodology Been Used?
An example of that is presented in the Webinar of Dr. Weber (link), a study originated from Munster University Hospital. The study described in this article could be invalid from a scientific point of view. While all studies on disinfection systems, notably on ultrasound probes, are done with quantitative microbiological analysis methods, this study used a qualitative method, which is often done in pharmaceutical research but is invalid for the evaluation of semi-critical medical devices.
In some cases, the study found more contamination after disinfection than before disinfection. This alone shows that the study design was inappropriate and did not have scientific value.
Watch the Webinar
Dr. David J. Weber, MD, MPH, FIDSA, FSHEA, FRSM