VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Evidence-Based Practice Portfolio

The goal of this guide is to provide nurses a resource to understand and carryout the steps of performing an evidence-based practice (EBP) project.

Page Updated

Updated:  December 1, 2018 

Comparison of Evidence-Based Practice, Performance Improvement and Research


Performance Improvement

(Process Improvement)

Evidence-Based Practice

(Change in Practice)


(Creation of New Knowledge)




Evidence Translation


Evidence Translation


Knowledge Creation

Gap  Process Revision/Enhancement Addresses gap in the current process Addresses gap in evidence


  • The process by which individuals work together to improve systems and processes with the intention to improve outcomes (Newhouse, 2007).
  • The use of the best available evidence to guide decision-making in clinical practice.  (Krugman, 2008).
  • Generate new knowledge or test an intervention or concern based on theory and uses rigorous methods (Hedges, 2006).


  • Improve or enhance internal processes and practices within a specific patient group or organization (Hedges, 2006).
  • To compare the organization to standards or benchmarks.
  • To change practice in order to improve processes or patient care.
  • Evaluate the evidence along a continuum to identify the strongest or best evidence to guide nursing practice within an organizational setting and with a specific patient population (Hedges, 2006.)
  • Answer a question for which there is not adequate evidence.
  • To generate new knowledge within the broader scientific community to produce knowledge that is generalized beyond the study sample (Hedges, 2006).

Problem-Solving System

  • Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA)
  • Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA)
  • Scientific Method
  • Qualitative or  Quantitative Methods


  •   No
  •  No/Yes
  • Yes

Data Sources

  • Local practice assessment
  • Appraisal and the use of the evidence
  • Interpretation of Data Sources
  • Critical appraisal of  internal and external sources of data
  •  Primary and Secondary  Data / Evidence

Support Resources

  • Nurse Clinician
  • Nurse Manager
  • Clinical Nurse III, IV, V
  • Performance Improvement, Department
  • Nursing Quality Outcomes Council
  • EBP Mentors
  • Nurse Clinician
  • Clinical Nurse III, IV, V
  • EBP Translation Committee
  • Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Leadership Council
  • Nursing Interns & Scholars Program
  • Nurse Clinicians  
  • Nurse Managers
  • Advanced Practice Nurses
  • Office of Clinical Research
  • Nursing Research Advisory Council
  • School of Nursing
  • Nursing Research & EBP  Leadership Council
  • Office of Clinical Research

Practice Impact

  • Improve patient care  processes
  • Improve processes in unit and organization
  • Incorporates the new knowledge
  • Change practice
  • Impact practice
  • Translates the knowledge
  • Generate new knowledge for practice
  • Add to the knowledge base

Translation of Findings

  • Standardization of practices, products, and treatments
  • Presentations to Units, Practice Councils and Other Hospital Groups
  • Publications
  • Posters
  • Podium presentations
  • Practice change that becomes hospital or unit policy.
  • Presentations to Units, Practice Councils and Other Hospital Groups
  • Publications
  • Posters
  • Podium presentations
  • Local adoption/application at the unit or hospital level.
  • Presentations to Units, Practice Councils and Other Hospital Groups
  • Publications
  • Posters
  • Podium presentations

Dissemination Resources

  • Performance Improvement Poster Template
  • Conferences List  
  • EBP Poster Template
  • Magnet Empirical Outcomes template
  • Conferences List  
  • Research Poster Template
  • Conferences List  


  • Improvement of the discharge times of patients.
  • Improving patient satisfaction.
  • Positioning in the OR to prevent pressure ulcers.
  • Early mobilization to prevent pneumonia.
  • Does location from the hospital impact follow up treatment for breast cancer patients?



Hedges, C. (2006). Research, evidence-based practice, and quality improvement. AACN Advanced Critical Care, 17 (4) 457-459.

Kloda, L. A., & Bartlett, J. C. (2013). Formulating Answerable Questions: Question Negotiation in Evidence-based Practice. Journal   of the Canadian Health Libraries Association (JCHLA), 34(2), 55-60. doi:10.5596/c13-019

Kurgman, M. (2008). Evidence-based practice. Journal for Nurses in Staff Development, 137-139.

Newhouse, R. (2007). Diffusing confusion among evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and research. Journal of Nursing Administration, 37(10) 432-435.