BACKGROUND: Critically ill patients are at marked risk of hospital-acquired infections, which increase patients' morbidity and mortality.
Registered nurses are the main health care providers of physical care, including hygiene to reduce and prevent hospital-acquired infections, for hospitalized critically ill patients.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate a new patient hand hygiene protocol designed to reduce hospital-acquired infection rates and improve nurses' hand-washing compliance in an intensive care unit.
METHODS: A preexperimental study design was used to compare 12-month rates of 2 common hospital-acquired infections, central catheter-associated bloodstream infection and catheter-associated urinary tract infection, and nurses' hand-washing compliance measured before and during use of the protocol.
RESULTS: Reductions in 12-month infection rates were reported for both types of infections, but neither reduction was statistically significant. Mean 12-month nurse hand-washing compliance also improved, but not significantly.
CONCLUSIONS: A hand hygiene protocol for patients in the intensive care unit was associated with reductions in hospital-acquired infections and improvements in nurses' hand-washing compliance. Prevention of such infections requires continuous quality improvement efforts to monitor lasting effectiveness as well as investigation of strategies to eliminate these infections.
Fox C, Wavra T, Drake DA, Mulligan D, Bennett YP, Nelson C, Kirkwood P, Jones L, Bader MK. Are you the author?
Mission Hospital, Mission Viejo, California.
Reference: Am J Crit Care. 2015 May;24(3):216-24.