Healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs), including hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) and surgical site infections (SSIs), are a considerable bother for healthcare worldwide. One of the most efficient preventative measures for HCAIs is promoting adherence to hand hygiene standards by both patients and care providers. The present project aims at promoting nursing teamwork in handwashing education as an effective and cost-efficient measure for the prevention of HAIs and SSIs.
HCAIs are a common concern among all types of healthcare facilities in the United States and abroad. Patients in hospitals with inadequate organizational culture (Boev & Xia, 2015), environment (Tajeddin et al., 2016), and educational patterns (Sarani, Balouchi, Masinaeinezhad, and Ebrahimitabas, 2016) are at most risk of having HCAIs. Cornejo-Juárez et al. (2015) state that cancer patients are more likely to have HCAIs due to receiving multiple types of care, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and molecular targeted therapies. In short, the issue is critical for all care providers around the globe.
HCAIs negatively affect the quality of health care worldwide since they remain a significant source of adverse outcomes. According to Watson (2016), around 2 million people acquire HCAIs annually in the US. On average, one in ten patients acquires infections while receiving care (Haque, Sartelli, McKimm, & Abu Bakar, 2018). The primary reason for the matter is in compliance with hand hygiene standards in hospital settings by patients and personnel (Haque et al., 2018). Poor adherence to hygiene standards is associated with deficient staff and patient education and lack of collaboration between stakeholders (Sarani et al., 2016). In short, promoting and monitoring compliance with hand hygiene guidelines seems to be the most appropriate method of addressing the problem.
HCAIs are associated with increased morbidity, mortality, and cost of care. According to Haque et al. (2018), one in seventeen patients with HCAIs dies from the condition. The risk of death increases in patients undergoing multimodal treatment from complex diseases, such as cancer, due to the emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria (Cornejo-Juárez et al., 2015). Sarani et al. (2015) mention that the cost of the problem to society is $32 million annually. Additionally, since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services do not reimburse the cost of HCAIs treatment, hospitals face additional financial burdens when addressing the matter. In summary, the problem has a noticeable impact on the community.
Significance and Implication to Nursing
The problem is significant since it negatively affects the quality of care. Apart from increased adverse events among patients, the matter is associated with the increased workload on front-line care providers, including nurses (Boev & Xia, 2015). Increased workload and patient dissatisfaction may lead to nurse burnout, fatigue, and decreased retention (Kutney-Lee, 2016). At the same time, nurses can improve the situation by adhering to hygiene standards and collaborating with other hospital personnel.
As mentioned above, one of the most effective and cost-efficient approaches to reducing the number of HCAIs is promoting adherence to hand hygiene among staff and patients. According to Srigley, Furness, & Gardam (2016), personnel and patient education is an effective strategy to address the problem of HAIs. The matter is confirmed by Phan et al. (2018), who developed a 4-hour educational program to resolve the issue. Additionally, Boev and Xia (2015) state that front-line employees working as a team can improve patient outcomes. Therefore, the present project suggests promoting nursing teamwork in handwashing education to reduce the occurrence of HCAIs.
HCAIs pose a significant danger to patient safety in all healthcare facilities around the globe. The problem is the cause of increased morbidity and mortality as well as the source of additional healthcare costs. The issue can be addressed by promoting adherence to hand hygiene guidelines. Empirical evidence shows that one of the most effective strategies to the situation is to encourage nursing teamwork in handwashing education.
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