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The views and opinions expressed in our blog series are those of the authors and are not necessarily supported by CareSearch, Flinders University and/or the Australian Government Department of Health.
Health professionals are always seeking the latest evidence in order to provide the best possible care to their patients. However, integrating the latest evidence into practice can seem daunting. Dr David Healey, a General Practitioner, provides examples how he integrates evidence into his practice and the importance of doing so.
Aileen Collier is a lecturer in Palliative and Supportive Services, Flinders University. Her research sits at the interface of social science and health research and is focused on human agency and safety and quality of palliative care. She also teaches in the Flinders University post-graduate program.
What advice can I offer you about nursing, research and improving health care? Nurses, as the backbone of our health services, need to be highly responsive to direct patient care needs. If improvements in palliative care are to be realised however, we also need to enact what colleagues Jane Phillips and Meera Agar have recently described as “exemplary leadership”. Our health care systems are complex, in constant flux and driven by efficiency and cost effectiveness. We need to take an active role in policy development as well as critically adapting ‘top-down’ policy and evidence-based initiatives within local settings. In this environment, nurses simply cannot afford not to be able to make sense of research findings.