Infection Control's 78% Solution
Infection Prevention a Team Effort
"It is clear that infection prevention is a team effort and all clinicians and personnel need to be working together to prevent infections," Pogorzelska says. In essence, a "multidisciplinary team of qualified professionals that work together is needed to implement prevent strategies appropriately."
The study found that 97 percent of the hospitals surveyed performed some type of screening upon patient admission, especially for MRSA. By contrast, few hospitals reported the use of universal and targeted screening for two other multidrug-resistant organisms: vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and Clostridium difficile (C. difficile).
One major reason for this focus on MRSA is legislative requirements in California for these screening programs, but Pogorzelska says the "level of specification on one type" of pathogen may limit the ability to address others like VRE and C. difficile.
Some organizations are forming interdisciplinary task forces and successfully decreasing C. diff incidence by developing specific cleaning protocols after observing staff cleaning routines. The Hunterdon Medical Center in Flemington NJ established a task force that launched protocols that revised existing cleaning protocols.
For physicians, nurses and other hospital workers, the possibility of infection is always there.
"Whether a hospital uses universal contact precautions or universal MRSA screening, or some combination of interventions—infection prevention strategies need to be carried out by all personnel at the bedside at all times," she says.
It can make the 78% difference.
Cleaning Up C. Diff, Together
Joe Cantlupe is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media Online.
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