Reducing Infection Rates Through Improved Hand Hygiene In The Southern Hospital’s Brighton Campus Emergency Department Bachelors Assignment For B Achelors Of Nursing Level Two

2854 words - 12 pages

Statement of the Problem
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW, 2014), Emergency
departments (ED) have acted as the entry point for approximately 88 per cent of all
public hospital admissions in Australia between 2013 and 2014. Thus, the ED is an
open portal of entry for pathogens into the hospital system, hence the important sentinel
function of the ED personnel (Arntz et al., 2016). The ED is an essential department of
the Southern Hospital (Brighton campus). In the ED of Southern Hospital (Brighton
Campus), there are many problems including working in a stressful environment with
highly dependent patients. Moreover, the frequency and type of presentations to ED
are unpredictable as are the workflow challenges. These factors mean that ED staff
adherence to guideline-based infection prevention practices, including hand hygiene
compliance, may be hindered. According to the Australian Commission on safety and
quality in health care (ACSQH, 2010), healthcare associated infections (HAIs) are one
of the most common and significant issues today, yet it is preventable. Consequently,
180,000 patients suffer from HAIs in Australian hospitals annually which increase
patient morbidity and prolong hospital stay, attributing to unnecessary consuming of 2
million hospital bed days annually (ACSQH, 2010). Subsequently, low compliance with
hand hygiene (HH) can put patients in Southern Hospital (Brighton campus) at
increased risk of HAIs in the ED as well as other wards to which patients are then
transferred.
1. National Statistics
Hand Hygiene Australia (HHA) has been conducting three audits annually since 2009
to illustrate HH compliance rates among health professionals and in various ward types
(HHA, 2016). The national data collected by HHA points out that average compliance
rates have improved steadily over time among all health professionals and various ward
types from 63.5% to 84% in 2009 and 2016, respectively (HHA, 2016). Furthermore,
nursing and midwifery professionals have been found to be among the top professions
for compliance with HH policies (HHA, 2016). However, ED have noticeably the lowest
rate of compliance of only 76.5% compared to an average of 84% for all ward types
(see appendix 2) (HHA, 2016).
2. Barriers to Quality
Prior to establishing the quality improvement project, the author has conducted short
interviews in the staff room, with 50 nurses across five shifts who are the permanent
staff working for ED at the Southern Hospital (Brighton campus), to find out the barriers
which prevent them to perform HH. As a result, there are many reasons behind the low
compliance of ED nurses in Southern Hospital (Brighton campus). The main reason is
the perception that the patients’ needs take priority over HH and the general perception
is that the gloves can replace the need for HH. Another common reason is the high
workload and understaffing as well as insufficient time for HH. In...

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