Best Practices

Best Practices

There is substantial knowledge in our Urban Indian Health Programs that has been developed through experience and time. That is, a potential series of Best and Evidence based Practices that our leaders have orally transmitted to their personnel without ever being able to record them in a written form. The latter finds its roots in the historical development of the Urban Indian Health Programs; as well as the ongoing struggle to devote all funds and operations to cover services rather than creating written records of these culturally-appropriate practices tailored specifically to assist our communities in urban settings.

 For the above reason, NCUIH took the opportunity to do both research on the commonly accepted Standards for Best and evidence-based practices; as well as to design a series of tools to collect in a written form those organically developed and orally transmitted practices. Through a call for submissions, a total of 16 Best Practices of varied themes were collected. These documents underwent a process of review to make sure that the information collected actually had the required standards to be considered best practices.

Findings:

1)      The NCUIH team realized that there are no universally accepted standards for Best or Evidence-based Practices for Native American Programs (neither in Tribal or Urban programs).   Although NCUIH could have adopted other organization's standards or created its own set, we decided it is in the best interest of our programs to involve both the programs and the involved agencies in the process, so that the standards are not unilaterally created, but universally valid.

2)      While implementing the project and reviewing the submissions, the NCUIH team realized there was a need to do further research on how our program leaders and practitioners perceive what a Best or Evidence practice is, for instance, a program or project may be extremely successful, but it may not be replicable, etc. For such reason, developing standards is the first step to move forward with the Best Practices collection project.

Our goal is to be able to manualize the process of practices collection and standardization. Should you have questions regarding the Best and Evidence Practices project or would like to get involved in our efforts please contact Dr. Kimberly Fowler, Technical Assistance and Research Director at kfowler@ncuih.org