What does the "best care practice" mean? August 27 2015

The “best care practice” refers to a method or technique that is used to consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means. It is a process that develops over time that organizations can use.The University of Iowa states that the “best care practice" is defined by the use of care concepts, interventions, and techniques that are grounded in research and known to promote higher quality of care and living for older people. (1)

A good example of a well known best care practice is hand hygiene. In the 1847 Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis discovered the importance of hand hygiene and he proved this statistically that the childbed fever could be drastically cut by requiring hand washing in a chlorinated lime solution.  Since hospital-acquired infections can affect 1 in 11 patients, which can be preventable from improved hand hygiene. (2) It was not until 1995 and 1996 that the CDC/Healthcare Infection control in the USA recommended that either soap or waterless antiseptic agent to be used for cleansing hands upon leaving the rooms of patients. Standards were then changed in 2002 to include the use of alcohol based hand rubs for decontamination of hands between each patient contact.(3)

Even if the doctors are aware of the evidence and are willing to change, altering a well established patterns of care is difficult. Implementing a best care practice can take time since there are a number of obstacles that have to be overcome. Some of these barriers come from a practice environment, prevailing opinion, knowledge and attitudes.Even Ignaz Phillip Smmelweis had resistances from his peers when he showed proof that hand washing would benefit staff and patients (4). 

What would today be like without the hand washing standards that we have today? Would life expectancy be the same without the medical hygiene standards that we have today? 


  1. http://www.nursing.uiowa.edu/hartford/best-practices-for-healthcare-professionals
  2. http://www.ebm-netzwerk.de/wer-wir-sind/offen/lancet.pdf
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK144018/
  4. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/01/12/375663920/the-doctor-who-championed-hand-washing-and-saved-women-s-lives