The following article features coverage from the ONA 2019 Navigation Summit. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage.

Background This poster will discuss the formation of a service line specific evidence-based practice committee that incorporates inpatient and outpatient oncology nurses. Through shared governance, five hospital units with a common patient population, examined policy and nursing practices to better navigate patients through the continuum of oncology care.

Objectives To describe how the formation of an evidence-based practice committee can engage specialized nursing disciplines, such as oncology, to elevate patient care throughout the continuum, while promoting employee engagement.

  • Detail committee formation from inception to operation
  • Describe issue-based initiative formation to address common issues across the oncology  service line
  • Describe how an oncology specific evidence based practice committee can aid  patient navigation through a large academic medical center

Specialized evidence-based practice committees extend to multiple patient areas that focus on a specific patient population. This allows groups of specialized nurses to focus on specific areas that are of importance to the population and to nursing practice. This allows oncology nurses in all patient care areas to collaborate to improve care and the patient experience across the care continuum.

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Method Nurses were recruited from 3 inpatient oncology units and 2 outpatient infusion centers to plan and develop the committee’s mission and leadership structure. Each inpatient unit chose one co-chair, and the infusion centers elected to have a shared co-chair. Meetings are held on a monthly basis, with interim communication conducted through email and social media. Meeting agenda items are selected by the co-chairs and focus on issues that affect the oncology nursing specialty across the care continuum. Each member of the committee is sent relevant scholarly articles and hospital policies prior to meetings to evoke thought around a topic relevant to the specialty area.

Results Through an evidence-based practice committee, oncology nurses across the continuum of care have joined together to address issues inclusive of advanced directive planning and the safe handling of chemotherapy on non-oncology units. Through collaboration with hospital administration, non-oncology units were furnished with chemotherapy disposal bins and stocked with personal protective equipment (PPE) to allow for oncology trained nurses to administer and dispose of chemotherapy safely. This committee also serves as an educational hub for oncology specific issues. The committee now awards CEU credits at selected monthly meetings that can be used to qualify for oncology specialty certification exams.

Conclusion A specialized nursing evidence-based practice committee can be used to examine specific areas of nursing practice to improve the quality of care delivered in a specific patient population. Although, this poster focuses on a committee formed by oncology nurses, the principles and implementation strategy can be transferred to other nursing specialties.