About the Institute
“At Meridian, we believe the Institute will not only help improve the health and well-being of New Jersey residents by providing them with better quality care, but will also serve as a state and national model for the collection and dissemination of evidence-based care to clinicians.”
-- John Lloyd, President and CEO of Meridian Health
Today, health care organizations are increasingly challenged to take their excellence to the next level. In order to do so, the generation and use of new knowledge is of the utmost importance.
To that end, Meridian has developed the Meridian Health Institute for Evidence-Based Care, which assists in the identification of industry, market, and clinical trends that are applicable to strategic initiatives and patient safety. Through collaboration with all health care disciplines, the Institute is responsible for coordinating and ensuring the comprehensive, trans-disciplinary knowledge of scientific evidence as it relates to protocol and guideline development.
Fulfilling a need…
We often take for granted the knowledge and expertise involved in medical treatment, where time is of the essence and using the most appropriate and up-to-date treatment can mean the difference between life and death. However, evidence suggests that how most physicians and clinicians practice is not based on the principles of evidenced-based medicine, but rather on their most recent experiences, what they learned years ago in medical school, or what they have heard from their friends (Keckley, 2004).
Answering challenging clinical questions to generate best practice recommendations appeals to the soul of the clinician and why they entered health care in the first place. They may ask themselves questions how they could have prevented the delirium experienced by their elderly patient or are there any interventions that can accelerate a return to normal bowel function after colon resection? These and countless other questions are those that can be explored in evidence-based care reviews and local research. However, these reviews and research take time and support that even the most excellent clinician finds difficult to muster.
For clinicians today, remaining up-to-date on the newest medical treatments and techniques and reviewing new medical literature can feel like looking for a needle in the haystack. Experts state that clinicians would have to read 17-19 journal articles, 365 days a year to remain current (Haynes, 1993). Evidence-based reviews help the clinician to focus their use of the literature into the clinical problems at hand. Clinicians become energized as the process of remaining current becomes manageable and supported. The Institute for Evidence-Based Care is designed to be this support. The Institute coordinates review teams, provides biostatistical expertise, assists in the development of mechanisms to translate results into practice, provides internal marketing support to disseminate the findings, and evaluates the results.
The Vision for Evidence-Based Care
The vision of evidence-based care at Meridian Health is for the patient to be at the center of care. An early and commonly accepted definition of evidence-based practice has been “the integration of individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research,” (Sackett et al, 1996). Our vision ensures an additional consideration of the patient and brings the expertise of the entire health care team to the effort.