But just because prevention protocols are in place doesn't mean they're being followed. For instance, another study that Stone lead last year showed that when it comes to CLABSI, 92% of ICUs had a policy for an insertion checklist, but only 52% of the healthcare professionals were seen to adhere to that policy.
For VAP prevention, the results were similar: 74% of ICUs had a ventilator bundle checklist, but only 52% of those treating patients adhered to it.
HAIs are nurse-sensitive outcomes, but nurses aren't alone in the need to adhere to prevention protocols. They can, however, act as leaders in adhering to protocols, and can use the new study findings to bolster or implement HAI prevention programs. I chatted with Stone via email to learn more.
HLM: What surprised you most about the study findings?
Stone: While I thought infection prevention and control would be cost-effective due to the high attributable costs associated with these infections, I was surprised at how cost-effective multifaceted infection prevention programs were. I was also surprised how robust these finding[s] were to a number of assumptions.
HLM: What would you say are the most significant findings and why?
Stone: The most significant findings were that infection prevention not only saves lives, it also saves money. In the current constrained economic environment in hospitals with many cost-cutting measures being put in place coupled with the focus on quality, it is important to know that investments in infection prevention pay off in terms of decreased HAIs and improved economic outcomes.
Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.