Translation Science Project on Hand Hygiene

Hand Hygiene Compliance among Staff

Hand hygiene is one of the most ignored safety measures in the healthcare environment. Nonetheless, strict adherence to the hand hygiene policies of a healthcare provider immensely contributes to the reduction of infections during the treatment processes. Therefore, it is imperative for doctor of nursing practitioners to embrace hand hygiene and look for specific strategies to enhance its usefulness in their workplace. Translational research can be an ideal tool in enhancing the hand hygiene practices in the health system since it facilitates the integration of the latest scientific findings into the conduct of medical practitioners as they execute their duties. It is also essential to evaluate the best deployment mechanisms that glue efficacious hand hygiene policies into the critical components of nursing informatics that support the execution of core duties in the healthcare context. This translation science project will evaluate relevant evidence on the importance of hand hygiene.

Description of Evidence

There is an overwhelming magnitude of evidence underlining the importance of hand hygiene in the reduction of infection rates in hospitals and enhancing the quality of care delivered. Multiple rebreathers agree that hospitals or health care workers that adhere to the codes of conduct concerning hand hygiene are less likely to get various infections (Kampf, Löffler & Gastmeier, 2009; Landers et al., 2012; Chen et al. 2011). Hand hygiene is depicted as one of the most instrumental tools to curb the spread of nosocomial infection as illustrated by Kampf, Löffler & Gastmeier, (2009). There are specific routines that healthcare workers cultivate and maintain to rip good rewards from hand hygiene. Kampf, Löffler & Gastmeier (2009) illustrate that hygienic hand disinfection is more effective in curbing infections in the treatment area as compared to traditional hand-washing. This technique is appropriate in mediating some of the impediments that diminish the willingness of healthcare employees to adhere to hand hygiene policies.

Most notably, Kampf, Löffler & Gastmeier (2009) assert that soaps can cause skin irritations and the prolonged wearing of protective gloves can also cause skin infections. In this regard, the use of hand disinfection strategies increase compliance and make the health environment safer. Kampf, Löffler & Gastmeier (2009) underline that the risk of hospital infections reduces by 40% when every healthcare worker complies to hand hygiene practices. Landers et al. (2012) also agree that hand hygiene can be instrumental in dealing with infections in the treatment area. Withal, they also point out that a lot of focus is channeled towards the hand hygiene mannerisms of medical practitioners but not the patients. On the same note, Landers et al. (2012) insist that the infection prevention strategies deployed by health providers could be made more robust with the inclusion of hand hygiene protocols for patients as well.

The benefits of hand hygiene in healthcare stretch beyond infection prevention. Chen et al. (2011) demonstrate that hand hygiene compliance can also be effective in reducing the costs incurred by healthcare providers. Chen et al. (2011) reveal teaching hospitals as the most vulnerable health institutions to infections. The study tests the efficacy of using alcohol-based hand rub for disinfection. A before and after comparison of the rate of infections in the examined health institution reveals a significant drop. The use of this substance over the traditional water and soap model also increased compliance among health workers in the health facility by 43.3% (Chen et al., 2011). After measuring the impact that this project had on the infection-resuscitation intervention, Chen et al. (2011) uncovered that the costs incurred were reduced by 3%. Magiorakos et al. (2010) and Helder et al. (2012) underline the importance of finding the right strategies to implement hand hygiene in healthcare. On an organizational level, Magiorakos et al. (2010) indicate that governmental support and standardization as the most effective ways to create consistency in hand hygiene practices. On an individual level, Helder et al. (2012) suggest an unorthodox method that involves the use of screened messages on display devices located in strategic places in the health facility to increase hand hygiene compliance. The technique was evocative and increased compliance by 63.6%.

Presentation of Evidence for Information Systems Change

The evidence gathered showcase how hand hygiene practices could be utilized in creating safe working environments for medical practitioners. Donabedian’s Structure, Process, Outcome (SPO) model can be useful in depicting the systemic changes necessary to derive good results from hand hygiene compliance. In terms of structure, there are specific elements if the healthcare environment that need alterations to encourage both patients and healthcare workers to comply with hand hygiene policies. As showcased by Landers et al. (2012) and Chen et al. (2011), it is essential for health facilities to provide hand disinfection resources rather than traditional hand-wash materials. This undertaking mediates the factors that discourage health workers from complying to hand hygiene policies. Other structural changes necessary include the use of reminders through smartphone applications or screened messages strategically located in the health facility. There are significant procedural changes that are necessary to enhance hand hygiene compliance among medical practitioners.

Restrictions should be imposed on how nurses interact with their patient. Both parties should be encouraged countercheck the level of sanitation maintained by each person they make contact with in the organization. This will also help reduce the number of healthcare environment infections (HEIs). The evidence provided showcases that proper deployment of hand hygiene protocols could yield two important outcomes. Chen et al. (2011) underline that hand hygiene policies can have a positive impact on the health facility’s financial performance by reducing the costs incurred. Also, these measures are effective in enhancing the quality of care delivered. Nursing informatics also have a huge role to play in the success of this intervention. More importantly, Computerized Physician Order Entry systems can be programmed to remind medical experts about the hand hygiene protocols before administering treatment processes. Also, decision support systems can also display messages highlighting the vitality of hand hygiene.

Conclusion

Healthcare environment infections are some of the most adverse conditions that impede the quality of care rendered by medical experts. The evidence reviewed underlines the effectiveness of hand hygiene policies in preventing various forms of infections that are likely to emerge during treatment. The proper implementation of hand hygiene protocols is imperative to the achievement of satisfactory results. Using hand disinfection resources instead of common hand washing resources is recommended because it increases the level of compliance among healthcare workers. Other secondary factors that depict the success of hand hygiene program include government support and benchmarking. Information management systems can also support the use of hand hygiene in the prevention of infections through the issuance of reminders.

 

References

Chen, Y. C., Sheng, W. H., Wang, J. T., Chang, S. C., Lin, H. C., Tien, K. L., … & Tsai, K. S. (2011). Effectiveness and limitations of hand hygiene promotion on decreasing healthcare–associated infections. PloS one6(11), e27163.

Helder, O. K., Weggelaar, A. M., Waarsenburg, D. C., Looman, C. W., van Goudoever, J. B., Brug, J., & Kornelisse, R. F. (2012). Computer screen saver hand hygiene information curbs a negative trend in hand hygiene behavior. American journal of infection control40(10), 951-954.

Kampf, G., Löffler, H., & Gastmeier, P. (2009). Hand hygiene for the prevention of nosocomial infections. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International106(40), 649.

Landers, T., Abusalem, S., Coty, M. B., & Bingham, J. (2012). Patient-centered hand hygiene: the next step in infection prevention. American journal of infection control40(4), S11-S17.

Magiorakos, A. P., Leens, E., Drouvot, V., May-Michelangeli, L., Reichardt, C., Gastmeier, P., … & Simon, A. (2010). Pathways to clean hands: highlights of successful hand hygiene implementation strategies in Europe. Eurosurveillance15(18), 19560.

 

 

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