Hygiene experts agree: there is great potential in infection prevention. Up to 30 per cent of all nosocomial infections are avoidable, when employees would even better carry out existing recommendations on hygiene. A crucial barrier to compliance is the widespread uncertainty when to perform which hygiene measures at the patient’s bed.
Standardised working processes are considered key to improve patient protection. A recent intervention study by the HARTMANN SCIENCE CENTER examined the influence of optimised clinical working processes that involve risk of infection on compliance.
Take a holistic view at risks of infection
The innovative approach: rather than looking at hand disinfection in isolation, it is the whole process including all actions involving risk of infection that is considered. Together with the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), the HARTMANN SCIENCE CENTER identified the operating procedure considered optimal from an infection control point of view for placing a peripheral venous catheter (PVC). After having trained employees on this procedure, the compliance increased for almost all steps relevant to hygiene.
Conclusion for clinical practice
The study shows: simple and well comprehensible clinical working processes increase the willingness to accurate hand hygiene behaviour. With this study, the HARTMANNSCIENCE CENTER has come much closer to the goal of making patient protection more intuitive and easier.
Standard operating procedures may further reduce the rate of nosocomial infection, for example, severe bloodstream infections set off by PVCs. The precondition: there need to be clear rules for hygiene safety. In addition to creating structures such as hygiene commissions, management staff should assume a hygiene role model – this is the only way to make the improved processes top of mind for all employees treating and nursing patients.
Kampf G et al. (2013) Verbesserung des Patientenschutzes beim Legen peripherer Venenkatheter: Eine Beobachtungs- und Interventionsstudie. GMS Hyg Infect Control:8(2).