It seems that facts are having a tough time of it lately. For the first time, we are hearing phrases like “fake news” and “alternative facts”. Lies repeated frequently enough (or loudly enough) are often taken to be the truth – especially if these fabrications come from celebrities (I mean, how else can Gwyneth Paltrow sell a jar of face cream called “Goop” for $140?).

Fortunately in the healthcare world we are, for the most part, being held to a higher standard. Evidence-informed practice is an expectation in (almost) every realm of healthcare and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. It simply isn’t enough to believe that a particular treatment or procedure will work – we need to be able to prove it before we can use it.

The same standard for evidence-informed decision making applies to the health regulatory world. A number of the calls/emails I receive come from RTs and others who want the CRTO to take action on a particular issue – often from the perspective that the current state presents a patient safety risk (e.g., high Vent: RT ratios, RTs not being able to perform certain controlled acts). And my response is usually – can you prove that a risk exists?

Evidence-based policy changes at the level of any organization (hospital, regulatory College and governmental) require – not surprisingly – evidence! For example, much of the information gathered on the CRTO’s renewal form is an attempt to establish an accurate picture of the current state of RT practice. This data can go a long way to providing the evidence needed to petition government or other bodies for changes to RT practice (just something to think about when you are renewing or updating your CRTO membership information).
We all need to demand that anyone trying to tell us that something is good or bad to prove it!

 

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