Using Gemba Boards to Facilitate Evidence-Based Practice in Critical Care

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Abstract

Background

Tradition-based practices lack supporting research evidence and may be harmful or ineffective. Engagement of key stakeholders is a critical step toward facilitating evidence-based practice change. Gemba, derived from Japanese, refers to the real place where work is done. Gemba boards (visual management tools) appear to be an innovative method to engage stakeholders and facilitate evidence-based practice.

Objectives

To explore the use of gemba boards and gemba huddles to facilitate practice change.

Methods

Twenty-two critical care nurses participated in interviews in this qualitative, descriptive study. Thematic analysis was used to code and categorize interview data. Two researchers reached consensus on coding and derived themes. Data were managed with qualitative analysis software.

Results

The code gemba occurred most frequently; a secondary analysis was performed to explore its impact on practice change. Four themes were derived from the gemba code: (1) facilitation of staff, leadership, and interdisciplinary communication, (2) transparency of outcome data, (3) solicitation of staff ideas and feedback, and (4) dissemination of practice changes. Gemba boards and gemba huddles became part of the organizational culture for promoting and disseminating evidence-based practices.

Conclusions

Unit-based, publicly located gemba boards and huddles have become key components of evidence-based practice culture. Gemba is both a tool and a process to engage team members and the public to generate clinical questions and to plan, implement, and evaluate practice changes. Future research on the effectiveness of gemba boards to facilitate evidence-based practice is warranted. (Critical Care Nurse. 2018;38[3]:e1-e7)

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