Evidence-Based Practices in Clinical Endocrinology
Evidence-based practices are an approach to using the available data from various clinical research in making clinical decisions. Such an approach has been used in the recent environment in various fields, such as endocrinology, to make decisions concerning the handling of endocrines and glands. Evidence-based practices recognize a hierarchy of evidence in which study designs are arranged specifically based on the susceptibility to bias. It all starts with the number of trials, a review of randomized trials, and support of the patient’s outcome. On the other hand, clinical observations in physiological studies are at the bottom of the hierarchy. It is notable that the evidence alone, in this case, is not enough to establish clinical decisions, as the latter involves clinical aspects and requires intensive assessments of the patient’s circumstances, values, and preferences. Evidence-based endocrinology suffers from various hindrances, such as limited evidence in assessing client’s outcome, insufficient summaries of the evidence, inadequate time, and lack of training of endocrinologists to conduct the research. Thus, the current endocrine practices should involve redesigning the various roles of endocrinologists, hence providing more information for colleagues and patients in the healthcare system.
There is a significance that comes with evidence-based research in clinical endocrinology. It leads to shared decision-making in healthcare. The decision-making process is usually challenging; it involves combining ideas from various individuals or parties. Better decision-making helps in initiating proper care in various fields of healthcare. It is usually important when there are more contradictory issues about the type of care a patient should get. In endocrinology, many difficulties in decision-making have been identified; these lead to dilemmas in which there is a mixed reaction on what type of care a patient should receive. About 60% of the recommendations provided in the endocrine guidelines have low-quality data. In this case, different options may be available to offer care to the patients. Experts in endocrinology can indicate the benefits and drawbacks available at every level of treatment; from this information, a decision is made on the better option. Thus, shared decision-making is significant in providing treatment in endocrinology.
Besides, evidence-based practice in clinical endocrinology is important since it provides resources for future decisions. In most cases, patients and physicians are involved in serious arguments on best practices of evidence-based information. It is usually difficult due to the differences that exist between the parties. Most patients may need to gain expertise in medical issues or ways of treatment. The evidence-based practices detailed information that can be used as a point of reference; in this case, the available resources may be referred to avoid controversies between the parties. The decision aid might help provide facts and figures that have undergone intensive research to solve the problems. In most cases, the decision aids help in understanding the available options that might assist in improving patients’ outcomes in the field of endocrinology. Therefore, decision aids derived from available resources are imperative in providing understanding between physicians and patients, which results in better care.
Moreover, evidence-based practices help create awareness and promote various research imperatives for managing endocrinology. When research is done on the new treatment of a specific condition, it would be made available to the public wanting to try the new method in the healthcare sector. It is a form of awareness created in society, and it could help save society a lot in case the method is effective. Public knowledge is also a form of advertising the method to society that might enhance better care based on issues concerning endocrinology. Thus, creating awareness is significant in promoting health.
Additionally, evidence-based practices in endocrinology help improve healthcare outcomes. Nowadays, there have been some disparities that come with the types of available treatment options in endocrinology. This field may need more appropriate conclusions due to inadequate research. Evidence-based practices usually integrate systematic research that is conducted properly. The fact that the research is evidence-based shows that detailed analysis has been involved in the study, and the results obtained are facts; thus, the conclusion can be considered valid. Therefore, evidence-based practices help provide the proper care that reflects the outcomes.
Endocrinology studies hormones and their different actions in the body of a human being. Hormones are chemical substances that are protein and released from the blood. Hormones, produced in ductile glands, work when receptors cause a change in the target cells. The thyroid gland is an example of the secretion of a gland that produces hormones later released into the blood. Such glands are found in different organs that secrete hormones for the body. An example of an organ is the pancreas, where hormones are released directly into the blood as the secretion of the pancreas passes through the duct before they can be allowed into the bloodstream.
According to De Groot et al., endocrinology is an exciting branch of science in medicine. It is a major in studying hormones; thus, it can also be manipulated to affect various body functionality. Since there exist various disorders caused by endocrine, different studies have been done in this field to find a regimen and other medical issues that can offer a solution. Besides, hormonal changes significantly affect the body; therefore, studying hormones may help design medication to counter abnormal functionalities. For example, when hormone production is insufficient, an attenuated form of a counter home is introduced into the blood to establish a normal state. Some common endocrine diseases are polycystic ovarian disease which affects one out of six women. Besides, both types of diabetes result from an imbalance of hormones. Hence, endocrinology is of much importance to the population.
Endocrinology began a long time ago, about 100 years ago. It started as the study of glands of internal secretion, also known as the endocrine gland. Such glands secrete their content in the blood, termed a hormone, altering the body’s functionality. The hormones could cause excitement in the organism since they connect with the target cells. According to Holick et al., a specific hormone forms a binding with a given receptor, usually found on the target cells, that causes a significant change in the body. The hormonal communications are transferred to various parts of the body in the form of chemicals by the nervous system. Thus, hormonal functions date back to the past century, and studies are still done even in the recent environment to help establish medication that can help treat numerous body conditions.
Additionally, an endocrinologist is an individual who studies the functionality of the hormones in the body. Such persons have played a critical role in coordinating the patient-centric paradigm. Moreover, their major interest is ensuring that patients are served well with adequate research and hormonal care to keep the body condition normal. Most of the evidence-based practices are carried out by endocrinologists due to their vast knowledge and experience in this field. Such practitioners have established an effective environment where patients can handle most hormonal changes. For example, endocrinologists deal with cases of diabetic disease treatment. In this case, they are responsible for staffing and general oversight. According to Handelsman et al., about 27% of the global population is diabetic; thus, the healthcare systems need a diabetic management program to help oversee the condition, calling for efforts from an endocrinologist.
Endocrinologists may also involve in the implementation of evidence-based algorithms. Such people help update, manage, and monitor the program’s effectiveness. Due to the increasing technology, the algorithms should be kept updated to handle more sophisticated computation issues in the future. Some of the issues the algorithms help solve include analysis of glycohemoglobin summative data, levels of lipids, and overall control of blood pressure, among others. All these problems are hormonally controlled; thus, endocrinologists should work hand-in-hand to enhance better care in the healthcare sector.
Some of the findings concerning evidence-based practice in clinical endocrinology are that the prevalence of conditions due to hormonal imbalance is high depending on the type of disease. Specifically, diabetes stands at 27%, indicating that more efforts are required to curb hormonal imbalances. It is also identified that the lack of intensive research in the available literature on endocrinology has resulted in poor treatment in this field, as physicians may need more expertise to handle certain hormonal changes in the body. It is also why the lack of proper decision-making in the healthcare sector is due to the need for more research.
The evidence-based study relies on using technology to solve most of the issues in clinical endocrinology. It uses algorithms to control lipid levels, blood control, and the correct hormonal imbalance. The algorithm provides an easy way to handle complicated issues. To keep the algorithm per the current technology, endocrinologists keep updating and managing the mathematical computation to solve problems endlessly. The fact that an algorithm is used in the research strengthens the concept since it enhances the application of intensive research conclusions that can help make decisions. Apart from that, the approach taken in this case adds more information to the available literature that can be used to make better decisions. Thus, the evidence-based approach is paramount in handling day-to-day cases in clinical endocrinology.
Understanding the role of endocrinology in evidence-based practices in healthcare is important. In this way, these individuals comprehend the whole concept of endocrinology. They study all the hormones, where they are produced, and how they affect various body parts. The research included these personalities to emphasize how hormones are important in the body. Apart from that, they are the physicians who conduct intensive research on all the available hormones and provide conclusions on their functionalities. These practitioners do all the endocrinology research, making them credible for the study. Therefore, to enhance the understanding of endocrinology, endocrinologists must be involved in the research.
However, the study may be limited by some factors, namely external or internal, to the organization. The lack of cooperation among the respondent in the interview might result in biased data that may impact the conclusion and the outcome altogether. Besides, inadequate skills and expertise among the endocrinologist may affect the care level provided. As aforementioned, technology is improving at an alarming rate. Thus, the current environment requires a more complicated algorithm approach to help solve the problem. When endocrinology could manage the algorithm, deriving better decisions from the computed results would be difficult.
Various implications are associated with the research. One of the most common implications is that an evidence-based approach in clinical endocrinology helps enhance patient outcomes. The study involves intensive analysis based on a given condition through available resources to come up with a conclusion on such issues. The main aim of most research is to improve patients’ outcomes. It is achieved through introducing new methods of handling a condition or using new medication to treat a specific disease. All these new inventions are geared towards enhancing health, thus being the products of evidence-based research. In this way, an improved patient outcome is a practical implication of this research study.
The research also helps pharmaceutical industries to make drugs. Hormonal changes have resulted in different complications that affect the body’s normal functionality. For example, hormonal changes can lead to hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, pending on the imbalance in the thyroid glands. It results in problems that may need medication. Endocrinologists research and implement medication that can be used to balance the hormone in the body. Therefore, medication is needed to establish hormonal balance in the body; hence, the pharmaceutical industries have great work to do.
The research also helps in providing more evidence. As mentioned earlier, more research information may lead to better health services. The patient may be exposed to poor care since no strong medication exists. Besides, a long hospital stay is brought about by inadequate research that can enhance the implementation of better medication. Evidence-based practice ensures intensive analysis that can be used to solve the issue of a long stay in hospitals. Moreover, the research might document sufficient literature that can be used to provide healthcare services. Thus, if evidence-based research in clinical endocrinology were implemented, the issues of a long stays in hospitals might not occur again.
Summary and Conclusion
Evidence-based practice in clinical endocrinology helps in deriving the best care approach that can be used to handle cases of hormonal imbalance in the body. The history of endocrinology dates back to about 100 years ago. Efforts have been made to enhance the continuation of the research to better understand and treat the cases that may result from hormonal imbalance. The research has various benefits among improved healthcare outcomes in which different regimens can be designed to handle specific patient conditions. Moreover, the study helps provide more literature on situations requiring decision-making in healthcare. It makes the process easy and unarguable, as data and facts are available for reference. Notably, endocrinologists are assigned the difficult task of managing the technology and algorithm required in making decisions on the issues regarding hormones in the body. Therefore, evidence-based practice in endocrinology is imperative and should always be performed.
1. Bhasin, S., Cunningham, G. R., Hayes, F. J., Matsumoto, A. M., Snyder, P. J., Swerdloff, R. S., & Montori, V. M. (2010). Testosterone therapy in men with androgen deficiency syndromes: An endocrine society clinical practice guideline. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 95(6), 2536-2559.
2. De Groot, L., Abalovich, M., Alexander, E. K., Amino, N., Barbour, L., Cobin, R. H., … & Mestman, J. (2012). Management of thyroid dysfunction during pregnancy and postpartum: An endocrine society clinical practice guideline. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 97(8), 2543-2565.
3. Garber, J. R., Cobin, R. H., Gharib, H., Hennessey, J. V., Klein, I., Mechanick, J. I., … & Woeber for the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and American Thyroid Association Taskforce on Hypothyroidism in Adults, K. A. (2012). Clinical practice guidelines for hypothyroidism in adults: Cosponsored by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American Thyroid Association. Endocr Pract., 18(6), 988-1028.
4. Holick, M. F., Binkley, N. C., Bischoff-Ferrari, H. A., Gordon, C. M., Hanley, D. A., Heaney, R. P., … & Weaver, C. M. (2011). Evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency: An endocrine society clinical practice guideline. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 96(7), 1911-1930.
5. Handelsman, Y., Mechanick, J., Blonde, L., Grunberger, G., Bloomgarden, Z., Bray, G., … & Garber, A. (2011). American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists Medical Guidelines for clinical practice for developing a diabetes mellitus comprehensive care plan: Executive summary. Endocrine Practice, 17(Suppl. 2), 1-53.
6. Melmed, S., Casanueva, F. F., Hoffman, A. R., Kleinberg, D. L., Montori, V. M., Schlechte, J. A., & Wass, J. A. (2011). Diagnosis and treatment of hyperprolactinemia: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 96(2), 273-288.
7. Lenders, J. W., Duh, Q. Y., Eisenhofer, G., Gimenez-Roqueplo, A. P., Grebe, S. K., Murad, M. H., … & Young Jr, W. F. (2014). Pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma: an endocrine society clinical practice guideline. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 99(6), 1915-1942.