Improving infection control practices of nurse anesthetists

Plemmons, Molly M. et al. | Improving infection control practices of nurse anesthetists in the anesthesia workspace | American Journal of Infection Control | published online January 18th 2019

Anesthesia providers commonly cross-contaminate their workspace and subsequently put patients at risk for a health care-acquired infection. The primary objective of this project was to determine if education and implementation of standardized infection control guidelines that address evidence-based best practices would improve compliance with infection control procedures in the anesthesia workspace.

Patient care-related hand hygiene of nurse anesthetists was observed in 3 areas of anesthesia practice before and 3 weeks and 3 months after staff education, placement of visual reminders, and the implementation of infection control guidelines. After the observation periods, the percent compliance on the part of the providers was calculated for each of the 3 areas of anesthesia practice, and the results were compared using the Fisher exact test.

There were a total of 95 observations performed during the 3 observation periods. When compared with preimplementation baseline data, there was a 26.2% increase in the number of providers compliant with hand hygiene practices after airway instrumentation (P = .029) and a 71.9% increase in the number of providers who separated clean from contaminated items in the workspace (P = .0001).

Education, visual reminders, and standardized infection control guidelines were shown to improve compliance with infection control best practices in a group of nurse anesthetists.


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