Ask a practice advisor: What is the SRNA's position regarding the implementation of clinical practice standards within various practice settings (i.e., home care, acute care units, long-term care, etc.)?
What is the SRNA's position regarding the implementation of clinical practice standards within various practice settings (i.e., home care, acute care units, long-term care, etc.)?
Although the SRNA does not develop or evaluate specific procedures or guidelines for various practice settings, the SRNA does endorse the need for policies and procedures to govern the practice of nursing and ensure safe care to patients. In addition, the SRNA supports the involvement of all nurses in the development and consistent implementation of standards that ensure safe client care.
There is a false belief that no standards mean no liability. In fact, without standards in place, there is a greater liability for the institution, the registered nurse and/or other care providers. In situations where a lawsuit is filed against the institution, both sides will need to provide documentation that the care providers did or did not provide care according to the practice that is supported in research (i.e., an evidence-based approach). In many legal cases, expert witnesses can be called upon to testify about what is current accepted standards of practice. The testimony of the expert witness may discredit or support the practice of the institution, depending on the health care provider's testimony and the written practice standards/guidelines/policies/procedures.
The SRNA supports policy development that clearly articulates the current source of evidence to support the standard of practice. Practice standards should be endorsed by the health region or facility and be implemented into practice. Through implementation of evidence-based clinical practice standards, safe client care can be provided to all clients and health care providers are supported in maintaining and providing a safe level of care.
All standards and procedures should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure current research and practice is reflected.
If you have any further questions, please contact a nursing practice advisor. Ph: 1-800-667-9945 (ext. 237) * Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sharon Chow, RN, Director of Nursing Practice