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A clinical problem that I have identified is the compliance and knowledge of health care workers (HCWs) regarding the use of disinfectants and proper hand hygiene to reduce the rate of infections in an intensive care unit (ICU).
For every HCWs, following proper hand hygiene routine is necessary to prevent hospital-acquired infections. The contaminated hands of healthcare professionals are one of the main reasons behind the transmission of potentially pathogenic organisms to vulnerable patients (Oyapero & Oyapero, 2018). The reason for me choosing this problem and this setting is because of my own experience. I was once admitted to ICU post-surgery of my leg and noticed some nurses were not following proper hand hygiene routine while contacting with different patients. I want to work on these units someday and I personally feel that negligence in hand hygiene has always been the most crucial factor for the transmission of diseases, especially in ICU where acutely ill patients are admitted.
Does following proper hand hygiene procedure by health care workers reduces the risk of hospital acquired infections?
P (problem): risk of hospital-acquired infection due to the negligence in hand hygiene by HCWs.
I (Intervention): proper handwashing and regular use of disinfectants.
C (comparison): compares the effects of correct and incorrect hand hygiene procedure in a health care setting.
O (outcome): Reduction of disease transmissions and infections.
In article one, Musu et al. (2017) conducted an observational study in six intensive care units and observe the adherence by health care workers to standard precautions and hand hygiene during their clinical practices. Different compliances rate with hand hygiene procedure was found among HCWs where hand hygiene before and after direct contact with the patients were 38.4% and 55.1%. This article states that HCWs shows considerable compliance in hand hygiene process and suggests that implementing adequate procedure can help in reducing infection risks in patients. Overall, the research has shown that non-compliance with hand hygiene is the main problem in-hospital care, but most of the hospital-acquired infections are preventable by fostering a correct adhesion to hand hygiene.
In this article, Salama et al. (2013) state that, the main challenges to health care system are hospital-acquired infections and to reduce the transmission of pathogens in hospitals, compliance with effective hand hygiene practices is the best strategy. A study was conducted to discover the hand hygiene compliance rate among HCWs and its effect on the hospital-acquired infection rate in the ICU. Education about hand hygiene techniques to HCWs was provided, and pre and post interventional period were compared to determine the overall effect. The rate of hand hygiene compliance by HCWs increased from 42.9% pre-intervention to 61.4% post-intervention, and the rate of overall healthcare-associated infections fell from 37.2% pre-intervention to 15.1% post-intervention. Hence, this study suggests that the reduction in hospital-acquired infections is directly related to the improved rate of hand hygiene practices by HCWs.
Overall, the two articles mentioned above identifies that following proper hand hygiene routine minimises the rate of hospital-acquired infections.
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