HLM: What lessons or takeaways are there for nurse leaders and nurse executives? Are there lessons for charge nurses on units, or nurses specializing in infection control, or for nurses in the higher ranks of executive leadership?
Stone: Nurse leaders and executives should know that investment in infection prevention should remain a high priority. Nurse managers should be supportive of infection prevention efforts. Nurses specializing in infection control may want to use these findings in reports to administration and hospital boards to ensure investment in their departments.
HLM: What should nurse leaders have staff do differently based on these study findings?
Stone: Many hospitals are already investing in infection prevention and have well developed programs that help bedside nurses provide the best-evidence based care at the bedside. If the hospital the nurse works in doesn't [have such a program] they [nurse leaders] should try to make sure it [gets one].
They could use these findings to try to get the investment in infection prevention showing how it pays off in the end. But, even in the hospitals with well developed programs, there are still HAIs occurring and just one HAI is one too many.
Furthermore, the HAIs are increasingly caused by emerging or resistant organisms. We need to emphasize the need for compliance with guidelines to deliver the highest quality care.
HLM: What findings do you think might be most surprising to nursing executives?
Stone: How cost-effective infection prevention can be!
Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.