Mapping Patient-Nurse Interactions Could Minimize Infections
While Barnes says he is not personally aware of hospitals that are using a social network analysis approach to limit contact, there are many hospitals using gloves and gowns to minimize direct contact with patients.
"There are also some studies looking at nurse-to-patient staffing ratios, but my impression is that they are inconclusive at this point," he says. "The challenge with these studies is data collection and integrity. Our advantage using simulation mitigates this challenge because we can experiment directly with these experimental factors and observe the effects."
Moving forward, it would be a helpful exercise for hospitals—particularly intensive care units—to start mapping the social networks within individual units, and potentially across multiple units that have a high degree of interaction, Barnes says.
"With this map, hospital administrators and infection control practitioners could analyze whether or not there are simple changes they can make to reduce the density of connections," he says.
- Reform Puts Vise Grips on Physicians
- Look Beyond Nurse-Patient Ratios
- Medicare Opt-Out a Viable Physician Strategy
- Hospital Groups Back NQF Report on Patient Sociodemographics
- NPP Demand Rising Under Value-Based Care Models
- Boston Marathon Bombing Yields Lessons for Hospitals
- Providers Lag as Consumers Set Agenda
- The Flourishing Medical Tourism Business in America
- Physicians as Economic Powerhouses and Tech Laggards
- How Physicians Can Help Ease Mental Health Provider Shortages