Why do we fail to deliver evidence-based practice in critical care medicine?

Curtis H. Weiss*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Scopus citations


Purpose of review The use of evidence-based practices in clinical practice is frequently inadequate. Recent research has uncovered many barriers to the implementation of evidence-based practices in critical care medicine. Using a comprehensive conceptual framework, this review identifies and classifies the barriers to implementation of several major critical care evidence-based practices. Recent findings The many barriers that have been recently identified can be classified into domains of the consolidated framework for implementation research (CFIR). Barriers to the management of patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) include ARDS under-recognition. Barriers to the use of the awakening and breathing coordination, delirium monitoring/management, and early exercise/mobility (ABCDE) bundle for mechanically ventilated patients and the sepsis bundle include patient-related, clinician-related, protocol-related, contextual-related, and intervention-related factors. Although these many barriers can be classified into all five CFIR domains (intervention, outer setting, inner setting, individuals, and process), most barriers fall within the individuals and inner setting domains. Summary There are many barriers to the implementation of evidence-based practice in critical care medicine. Systematically classifying these barriers allows implementation researchers and clinicians to design targeted implementation strategies, giving them the greatest chance of success in improving the use of evidence-based practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-405
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in critical care
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017



  • acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • consolidated framework for implementation research
  • implementation science
  • mechanical ventilation
  • sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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