Adherence to principles for the prevention of healthcare associated infections

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This study aims to verify whether there are, and to which degree, knowledge and adherence to guidelines on the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections by nursing staff” Accardi et al (2017).

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: This study aims to verify whether there are, and to which degree, knowledge and adherence to guidelines on the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections by nursing staff. Study design. A descriptive study was conducted on a sample of nurses in the areas of medicine, surgery, and its own specialties of the Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico in Milan from 1st December 2015 to 29th February 2016.

METHODS: The knowledge of the nursing staff have been investigated through the use of questionnaires with anonymous self-reporting method; inspections in the wards using observational grids were carried out in order to verify adherence to best-practice principles. The data collected concern, both for the knowledge and for the practice, the following macro-areas: a) Cleaning, disinfection and sterilization, b) Hand hygiene, c) Standard and isolation precautions, d) Prevention of catheter-related urinary tract infections, e) Prevention of catheter-related bacteremia, f) Prevention of surgical site infections, g) Prevention of respiratory tract infections. Statistical analyzes were performed using Microsoft Office Excel and STATA software.

RESULTS: 245 nurses from 16 wards were involved. In each wards 4 inspections were conducted. 128 completed questionnaires were returned, all considered for the analysis of data; the adhesion was 52.2%. The participants achieved an overall score of 15.0 ± 4.1 (mean ± SD) on a maximum achievable score of 23 and >75% of them have reached a sufficient level. Among the most positive results, it must be underlined that nurses have demonstrated a higher level of knowledge for hand hygiene, with >81% correct answers; that the lumens of central venous catheters, when not in use, were kept covered with a protective cap in more than 99% of cases; that, for patients bearers of urinary catheter, the urinary drainage bag was maintained below the level of the bladder, as recommended, in more than 91% of the cases. On the contrary, as a very negative result, we found the greatest knowledge gap as regards cleaning, disinfection and sterilization, with a number of incorrect answers approaching 50%; furthermore, 64% of nurses wore jewels on their wrists, and / or hands when in action; finally, the alcohol-based handrub device could be easily reached from at least one of the beds of the room in less than 13% of the cases.

CONCLUSION: Some knowledge gaps and differences with respect to adherence to best-practice principles for the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections was highlight by the present study.

Reference:

Accardi, R., Castaldi, S., Marzullo, A., Ronchi, S., Laquintana, D. and Lusignani, M. (2017) Prevention of healthcare associated infections: a descriptive study. Annali di Igiene. 29(2), p.101-115.

doi: 10.7416/ai.2017.2137.

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