Friday, July 25, 2014

New Guidance Shows Importance of Evidenced-Based Best Practices in Hygiene

A new guidance published in the August issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology emphasizes the importance of proper hand hygiene to prevent the spread of health care-associated infections, reports Health Canal. RWJF Health & Society Scholars program alumna Allison Aiello and her colleagues developed the guidance, which includes a series of evidenced-based best practices for optimal hand hygiene in health care settings. The guidance encourages increased availability and acceptability of certain soap and alcohol-based rubs and the development of a system to empower health care personnel to create a personalized hygiene system that gives them a way to track their progress.

The recommendations include developing a multidisciplinary team in which representatives from administrative and unit-level leadership work together to establish a hand hygiene program that best fits each institution. The program should include clear performance targets and an action plan for improving adherence, according to the guidelines.

An INQRI-funded study published last year in Critical Care Medicine found that a nurse-led intervention combining a “bundle” of evidence-based practices with a comprehensive safety program dramatically reduced the mean rate of health care-associated infections. The study was conducted by David Thompson and Jill Marsteller associate professors at Johns Hopkins University in the School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health, respectively, and by J. Bryan Sexton now at the Duke University Health System Patient Safety Center.

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