Patients’ Hand Washing and Reducing Hospital-Acquired Infection

Stacy Haverstick et al. | Patients’ Hand Washing and Reducing Hospital-Acquired Infection
Critical Care Nurse | June 2017 | 37:e1-e8;

Background:  Hand hygiene is important to prevent hospital-acquired infections. Patients’ hand hygiene is just as important as hospital workers’ hand hygiene. Hospital-acquired infection rates remain a concern across health centers.

Objectives: To improve patients’ hand hygiene through the promotion and use of hand washing with soap and water, hand sanitizer, or both and improve patients’ education to reduce hospital-acquired infections.

Methods: In August 2013, patients in a cardiothoracic postsurgical step-down unit were provided with individual bottles of hand sanitizer. Nurses and nursing technicians provided hand hygiene education to each patient. Patients completed a 6-question survey before the intervention, at hospital discharge and 1, 2, and 3 months after the intervention. Hospital-acquired infection data were tracked monthly by infection prevention staff.

Results: Significant correlations were found between hand hygiene and rates of infection with vancomycin-resistant enterococci (P = .003) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (P = .01) after the intervention. After the implementation of hand hygiene interventions, rates of both infections declined significantly and patients reported more staff offering opportunities for and encouraging hand hygiene.

Conclusion: This quality improvement project demonstrates that increased hand hygiene compliance by patients can influence infection rates in an adult cardiothoracic step-down unit. The decreased infection rates and increased compliance with hand hygiene among the patients may be attributed to the implementation of patient education and the increased accessibility and use of hand sanitizer.

 

A New Strategy to Combat Influenza and Speed Recovery

Flu complications are a leading cause of hospitalization and death worldwide. At risk for serious complications are individuals who are extremely young or old, obese, chronically ill or who have compromised immune systems.

Research published in the journal Cell Reports  writes of a promising new approach that uses an investigational cancer drug to dial down viral production and dramatically increase survival of flu-infected mice.

Full story at Infection Control Today

 

Antibiotic Therapy for Nearly 1 in 4 Adults with Pneumonia Does Not Work

Approximately 1 in 4 (22.1 percent) adults prescribed an antibiotic in an outpatient setting for community-acquired pneumonia does not respond to treatment, according to a new study presented at the 2017 American Thoracic Society International Conference | Infection Control Today

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Image source: Debbie Marshall – Wellcome Images // CC BY 4.0

Image shows colour enhanced scanning electron micrograph of a colony of Streptococcus pneumoniae, the species of bacterium that is the commonest cause of pneumonia.

McKinnell and colleagues conducted this study because current community-acquired pneumonia guidelines from the American Thoracic Society and the Infectious Disease Society of America, published in 2007, provide some direction, but large-scale, real-world data are needed to better understand and optimize antibiotic choices and to better define clinical risk factors that may be associated with treatment failure.

The researchers examined databases containing records for 251,947 adult patients who were treated between 2011 and 2015 with a single class of antibiotics (beta-lactam, macrolide, tetracycline, or fluoroquinolone) following a visit to their physician for treatment for community-acquired pneumonia.  The scientists defined treatment failure as either the need to refill antibiotic prescriptions, antibiotic switch, ER visit or hospitalization within 30 days of receipt of the initial antibiotic prescription.  The total antibiotic failure rate was 22.1 percent, while patients with certain characteristics — such as older age, or having certain other diseases in addition to pneumonia — had higher rates of drug failure.  After adjusting for patient characteristics, the failure rates by class of antibiotic were:  beta-lactams (25.7 percent), macrolides (22.9 percent), tetracyclines (22.5 percent), and fluoroquinolones (20.8 percent).

Patient engagement with surgical site infection prevention

Tartari E, et al. (2017) Patient engagement with surgical site infection prevention: an expert panel perspective. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control | Published online: 12 May 2017

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Despite remarkable developments in the use of surgical techniques, ergonomic advancements in the operating room, and implementation of bundles, surgical site infections (SSIs) remain a substantial burden, associated with increased morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs.

National and international recommendations to prevent SSIs have been published, including recent guidelines by the World Health Organization, but implementation into clinical practice remains an unresolved issue. SSI improvement programs require an integrative approach with measures taken during the pre-, intra- and postoperative care from the numerous stakeholders involved.

The current SSI prevention strategies have focused mainly on the role of healthcare workers (HCWs) and procedure related risk factors. The importance and influence of patient participation is becoming an increasingly important concept and advocated as a means to improve patient safety. Novel interventions supporting an active participative role within SSI prevention programs have not been assessed. Empowering patients with information they require to engage in the process of SSI prevention could play a major role for the implementation of recommendations.

Based on available scientific evidence, a panel of experts evaluated options for patient involvement in order to provide pragmatic recommendations for pre-, intra- and postoperative activities for the prevention of SSIs. Recommendations were based on existing guidelines and expert opinion. As a result, 9 recommendations for the surgical patient are presented here, including a practice brief in the form of a patient information leaflet. HCWs can use this information to educate patients and allow patient engagement.

Read the full article here

Bathing hospitalized dependent patients with prepackaged disposable washcloths instead of traditional bath basins

Martin, E.T. et al. American Journal of Infection Control | Published online: 11 May 2017

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Highlights: 

  • Basins used for patient bathing may become contaminated with resistant organisms.
  • Disposal washcloths had no effect on prevention of infection in a randomized trial.
  • Skin deterioration was less among patients bathed by disposable washcloth.

Read the full abstract here

Researchers Find Door Handles to Be Significant Source of MRSA in Hospitals

The aim of this study by Saba, et al. (2017) was to determine the prevalence and antibiotic susceptibility of S. aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) in the environments of three hospitals in Ghana | Infection Control Today

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A total of 120 swab samples were taken from door handles, stair railings and other points of contact at Tamale Teaching Hospital, Tamale Central Hospital and Tamale West Hospital. The swab samples were directly plated on Mannitol Salt and Baird Parker agar plates and incubated at 37 °C (± 2) for 18 to 24 hours. An antibiotic susceptibility test was performed using the Clinical Laboratory Standard Institute’s guidelines. Isolates resistant to both cefoxitin and oxacillin were considered to be MRSA.

The researchers conclude that the high multi-drug resistance of MRSA in hospital environments in Ghana reinforces the need for the effective and routine cleaning of door handles in hospitals. Further investigation is required to understand whether S. aureus from door handles could be the possible causes of nosocomial diseases in the hospitals.

Read the full overview via Infection Control here

The original research abstract is available here

Reducing antibiotic prescribing for children presenting to primary care with acute respiratory tract infection

Blair, P.S. et al. (2017) BMJ Open. 7:e014506

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Objective: To investigate recruitment and retention, data collection methods and the acceptability of a ‘within-consultation’ complex intervention designed to reduce antibiotic prescribing.

Conclusion: Differential recruitment may explain the paradoxical antibiotic prescribing rates. Future cluster level studies should consider designs which remove the need for individual consent postrandomisation and embed the intervention within electronic primary care records.

Read the full article here