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.

 

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Social media as a tool for antimicrobial stewardship

Pisano, J. et al (2016) American Journal of Infection Control44(11) pp. 1231–1236

Highlights

  • Medical trainees can be engaged through the use of social media.
  • Social media can be used to increase awareness and use of educational tools.
  • Clinical pathway use increased through increased awareness and periodic reminders.
  • Antibiotic knowledge increased as a result of following our program on social media.

Abstract

mobile-phone-1704781_960_720Background: To increase the reach of our antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP), social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, were used to increase internal medicine residents’ (IMRs’) antibiotic (Abx) knowledge and awareness of ASP resources.

Methods: Fifty-five of 110 (50%) IMRs consented to participate; 39 (71%) completed both pre- and postintervention surveys and followed our ASP on social media. Along with 20 basic Abx and infectious diseases (IDs) questions, this survey assessed IMR awareness of ASP initiatives, social media usage, and attitudes and beliefs surrounding Abx resistance. Over 6 months, IMRs received posts and Tweets of basic Abx/IDs trivia while promoting use of educational tools and clinical pathways on our ASP Web site. To compare pre- and postsurvey responses, McNemar test or Stuart-Maxwell test was used for categorical variables, and paired t test or Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used for continuous variables, as appropriate.

Results: Of the IMRs, 98% and 58% use Facebook and Twitter, respectively. To compare pre- and postintervention, median scores for Abx knowledge increased from 12 (interquartile range, 8-13) to 13 (interquartile range, 11-15; P = .048); IMRs knowing how to access the ASP Web site increased from 70% to 94%. More IMRs indicated that they used the clinical pathways “sometimes, frequently, or always” after the intervention (33% vs 61%, P = .004).

Conclusions: Social media is a valuable tool to reinforce ASP initiatives while encouraging the use of ASP resources to promote antimicrobial mindfulness.

Read the abstract here