Monday, November 11, 2013

Study Links RN Perception of Work Environment to Rates of Infection

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are less likely to occur in favorable critical care work environments, according to a study of more than 3,200 nurses, reports. The principal investigators for the study were INQRI NAC member Linda H. Aiken and INQRI researcher Eileen Lake.

HAIs cost the health care system billions of dollars each year, according to background information for the study, which was published in the November issue of the American Journal of Critical Care. The study found nurses working in favorable critical care environments were 36 to 41 percent less likely than nurses in poor work environments to report that urinary tract infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, and central line-associated bloodstream infections occurred more than once a month. The study also finds that critical care nurses are well-positioned to reduce the prevalence and prevention of HAIs in critically ill patients.

An INQRI team led by Eileen Lake and Jeannette Rogowski demonstrated the impact of nurse staffing and the professional practice environment in preventing infection among infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). Their findings show that babies in units where nurses have less support and limited professional practice are at higher risk of developing infections. Higher levels of NICU experience are associated with better infant outcomes.

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