The Belgian Red Cross (BRC) is an aid organisation with a wide range of activities, from blood collection through first aid education to international development aid. It is a fine example of how the philosophy of evidence-based practice can be implemented in all layers of a multi-faceted organisation.
To demonstrate the different actions taken to implement evidence-based practice within the BRC.
Firstly, the uptake of evidence-based practice has been incorporated in the long-term strategic vision of the BRC since 2010. A top-down managerial focus on evidence-based practice has increased the awareness of employees and volunteers. Newly recruited employees are screened on a positive evidence-based practice attitude. Secondly, a Centre for Evidence-Based Practice (CEBaP) was founded within the BRC in 2009. To date, CEBaP consists of eight highly trained professionals involved with evidence-based practice implementation. Thirdly, employees have the opportunity to receive education on evidence-based practice principles through blended learning, consisting of a newly developed e-learning module (five sessions, 1.5 hours) and a 1.5-hour face-to-face moment with CEBaP. Finally, monthly journal clubs are organised for employees of both the blood collecting and humanitarian services, to gain familiarity with primary research. Employees are stimulated to present and discuss a paper of relevance to their field, with guidance from CEBaP.
In the past five years, 12 evidence-based guidelines and 18 systematic reviews have been developed to support the activities of the BRC and these are applied in practice through manuals, procedures, folders and education. The improved attitude of our employees to evidence-based practice in the past five years is illustrated through the increase in the numbers of project applications (five-fold increase), questions for methodological support (none to seven) and joint research funding requests (none to two). Employees following our courses show increases in evidence-based practice knowledge (median pre 6.5 (interquartile range (IQR) 6 to 7) versus post 9 (IQR 8.75 to 9), P = 0.18) and self-perceived knowledge (pre 2 (IQR 2 to 2) versus post 4 (IQR 4 to 4), P = 0.03), but not attitude, which was already high. Journal clubs show participation from all Red Cross operational services. Overall, a positive evidence-based practice climate is experienced.
Multiple managerial and educational approaches are being used to successfully implement evidence-based practice within the BRC.
Patient or healthcare consumer involvement:
All BRC guidelines involve consumer views.