Hospital-Acquired Infections and Hand Hygiene Intervention
The proposed capstone project topic addresses the problem of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) and the effect of hand hygiene intervention on reducing infectious disease rates in healthcare settings. According to Haque et al. (2018), HAIs are “infections that first appear 48 hours or more after hospitalization or within 30 days after having received health care” (p. 2321). Research findings indicate that hospital-acquired infections are among the most common adverse events impacting hospitalized patients (Haque et al., 2018; Hillier, 2020). Therefore, the focus of the change proposal is to address the problem and reduce the healthcare-associated disease rate at medical facilities. The suggested intervention is to improve the hand hygiene of patients, families, and health care workers by providing handwashing products at each door in the hospital.
The problem selected for the capstone project can be observed in the health care setting, namely, hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, rehab centers, and other medical facilities. Healthcare-associated diseases threaten patient safety and affect public confidence in these institutions and medical specialists (McCalla et al., 2018). Furthermore, this problem should be explored in the context of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that emphasizes the need for improved safety measures and improved hand hygiene (Lotfinejad et al., 2020). HAIs reduce the overall quality of health care, creating additional challenges for clinicians and medical care providers.
The problem of high rates of hospital-acquired infections and the associated risks for patient and staff safety have been studied by many researchers. There are various types of HAIs, including cross-contamination, surgery site infections (SSIs), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), and others (Haque et al., 2018). As Haque et al. (2018) report, the situation is particularly serious “in emerging economies, with infection rates 3–20 times higher than in high-income countries” (p. 2327). Moreover, the spread of the COVID-19 disease aggravated the problem worldwide, presenting additional risks for medical personnel and patients. Richterman et al. (2020) claim that “a single unsuspected case of SARS-CoV-2 led to 6 major clusters …, with infection ultimately confirmed among 80 staff members and 39 patients, 15 of whom died” (p. 2155). As can be seen, the problem of HAIs highlights the need for effective intervention measures to ensure hospital safety.
HAIs not only impact patient and health care providers’ safety but also contribute to economic losses in medical institutions. As Teesing et al. (2021) emphasize, hospital-acquired infection rates continue to grow and increase mortality, morbidity, healthcare costs, and hospital stay length. Haque et al. (2018) state that about 1.7 million patients acquire healthcare-associated infections annually, and “more than 98,000 of these patients (one in 17) die” in the United States (p. 2321). According to Graveto et al. (2018), HAIs in the European context “are responsible for 16 million extra days of hospital stay …, 37,000 attributable deaths, and at least 110,000 HAI-related deaths each year” (p. 1190). Therefore, the significance of the topic is evident due to the safety risks associated with the problem.
Overall, the implications of the proposed subject for nursing practice are associated with the essential role of nurses in addressing the problem. Mynaříková et al. (2020) report that missed nursing care increases HAIs rates and the occurrence of other adverse hospital events. Another critical factor is hand hygiene and nurses’ adherence to the relevant guidelines. Therefore, the proposed solution includes installing handwashing products at each door in the hospital and providing training for patients, families, nurses, and other clinicians to improve hand hygiene. This intervention will positively impact nursing practice allowing to reduce the hospital-acquired infections rates.
Graveto, J. M. G. D. N., Rebola, R. I. F., Fernandes, E. A., & Costa, P. J. D. S. (2018). Hand hygiene: Nurses’ adherence after training. Revista Brasileira de Enfermagem, 71(3), 1189-1193. Web.
Haque, M., Sartelli, M., McKimm, J., & Bakar, M. A. (2018). Health care-associated infections – An overview. Infection and Drug Resistance, 11, 2321-2333. Web.
Hillier, M. D. (2020). Using effective hand hygiene practice to prevent and control infection. Nursing Standard, 35(5), 45-50. Web.
Lotfinejad, N., Peters, A., & Pittet, D. (2020). Hand hygiene and the novel coronavirus pandemic: The role of healthcare workers. The Journal of Hospital Infection, 105(4), 776-777. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.jhin.2020.03.017
McCalla, S., Reilly, M., Thomas, R., McSpedon-Rai, D., McMahon, L. A., & Palumbo, M. (2018). An automated hand hygiene compliance system is associated with decreased rates of health care-associated infections. American Journal of Infection Control, 46(12), 1381-1386. Web.
Mynaříková, E., Jarošová, D., Janíková, E., Plevová, I., Polanská, A., & Zeleníková, R. (2020). Occurrence of hospital-acquired infections in relation to missed nursing care: A literature review. Central European Journal of Nursing and Midwifery, 11(1), 43-49. Web.
Richterman, A., Meyerowitz, E. A., & Cevik, M. (2020). Hospital-acquired SARS-CoV-2 infection: Lessons for public health. JAMA, 324(21), 2155-2156. Web.
Teesing, G. R., Richardus, J. H., Nieboer, D., Petrignani, M., Erasmus, V., Verduijn-Leenman, A., Schols, J. M. G. A., Koopmans, M. P. G., Vos, M. C., & Voeten, H. A. C. M. (2021). The effect of a hand hygiene intervention on infections in residents of nursing homes: A cluster randomized controlled trial. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, 10(1), 1-9. Web.