Implementing evidence-based (EB) in the human service arena is a difficult and complex task. Individual capacities and organizational environment must be considered in designing the implementation of EB. This essay will cover some key areas involved in the implementation of EB management in human service organizations.
Evidence-based management entails the integration of the expertise of individual employees with the best evidence within the context of expectations and values of the consumers. It is all about integrating the experiences of the consumers to improve the quality of services. The practices and principles of evidence-based management are drawn from the healthcare industry and only recently have been introduced in the human service field. As human service organizations shift towards embracing EB management, available literature seeks to promote the adoption and implementation of EB in these organizations.
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The significance of EB management is to allow organizations to offer high-quality human services and to run an efficient service organization (Hasenfeld, 2009). Hence, the organization and the consumer will both profit when service provided is based on research. Companies operating in this sector are accountable to society to offer high-quality services so thus it is necessary that the organizations reflect evaluate the service and stay abreast of new evidence and knowledge that is available. Offering streamlined services that are affordable and grounded on current evidence is believed to minimize costs and enhance the quality of services offered to clients. Working in partnership with clients, the clients can participate in decisions regarding the services they receive (Plath, 2013). This does not only benefit the consumer but also enhances the fulfillment of the employees offering the service to consumers. Moreover, EB management is a problem-solving strategy to the delivery of services. In using such a problem-solving tactic, companies can incorporate consumer preferences and employee expertise to offer individualized services suitable for the consumer.
Numerous barriers are encountered in the implementation of EB in the human service arena. A key barrier is employee skill and information deficit (Hasenfeld, 2009). Employees’ lack of knowledge about the outcomes of service research and recent recommendations may lack adequate technical training expertise and skills to implement change. In addition, employees may lack time to apply research to practice. As the number of clients increase, employees may confront the challenge of high-quality services within a short time frame. However, there is preliminary evidence suggesting that human service organizations can achieve success in EB implementation.
The implementation of EB management may be successful given that it is introduced into a supportive organizational culture reflected at all levels from top management to frontline staff. A supporting EB culture entails things such as open communication, employee autonomy, low levels of job stress and an emphasis on employee training and coaching. The key aspects of an organizational culture that is supportive of EB management include the incorporation of stakeholders at all levels and leadership offered by change champions (Plath, 2013).
Various methods can be used in the collection of human service data. A randomized controlled trial (RCT) is one of the highest-ranking methods (Plath, 2013). Three features define this method: a control group, an intervention group and, randomly selected participants. The use of RCTs permits human service organizations to come up with quantitative findings because they may use open-ended methods like grounded theory. Quantitative studies are largely based on scientific approaches rather than person-centered. These studies pursue the cause and effect result. Though it may not be the best method to influence the behaviors of service employees, it is more suited for service employees’ knowledge. Quantitative results are not influenced by ethics, personal feelings, and experiences. Nevertheless, the core of human service is the client and thus this methodology fits with the implementation of EB in the human service field.
Hasenfeld, Y. (2009). Human services as complex organizations . London: SAGE.
Plath, D. (January 01, 2013). Support for Evidence-Based Practice in a Human Service Organization. Administration in Social Work, 37, 1, 25-38.