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Health care-associated infections (HAIs) are a significant concern in health care organizations, causing morbidity, mortality, and increased health care costs. To prevent the spread of infections and maintain safe health care services, health care organizations should implement various measures. This essay will describe three measures that health care organizations could implement to support the delivery of safe health care services and avoid the spread of infections.
One measure that health care organizations could implement is to provide mandatory infection prevention education to all health care workers. Education programs could cover topics such as hand hygiene, proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), standard precautions, isolation precautions, and environmental cleaning. Studies have demonstrated that education interventions significantly improve adherence to infection prevention measures, leading to reduced rates of HAIs (Haque et al., 2016; Saito et al., 2020). In addition, education programs could include routine competency assessments to ensure that health care workers are adequately trained and competent in infection prevention practices.
Another measure that health care organizations could implement is the use of antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs). ASPs are interventions aimed at optimizing the use of antibiotics to improve patient outcomes and reduce the development of antibiotic resistance. ASPs include the implementation of antibiotic guidelines, prospective audit, and feedback, and other measures to ensure appropriate antibiotic prescribing. Studies have shown that ASPs are effective in reducing the use of antibiotics, rates of HAIs, and rates of antibiotic resistance (Pulcini et al., 2018; World Health Organization, 2021).
Finally, health care organizations could implement a surveillance program to monitor the incidence of HAIs and track the effectiveness of infection prevention measures. Surveillance programs could include routine collection and analysis of HAI data, use of electronic health records to track infection rates and risk factors, and reporting of HAI rates to internal and external stakeholders. A systematic review of HAI surveillance programs found that these programs were effective in reducing the incidence of HAIs in acute care settings (Umscheid et al., 2011).
In conclusion, health care organizations could implement various measures to support the delivery of safe health care services and avoid the spread of infections. Infection prevention education, antimicrobial stewardship programs, and surveillance programs are three measures that could be implemented beyond what is currently in practice. These measures have been demonstrated to be effective in reducing the incidence of HAIs and improving patient outcomes.
Haque, M., Sartelli, M., McKimm, J., & Bakar, M. A. (2016). Health care-associated infections–an overview. Infection and drug resistance, 9, 217.
Pulcini, C., Morel, C. M., Tacconelli, E., Beovic, B., de With, K., Goossens, H., … & Harbarth, S. (2018). Human resources estimates and funding for antibiotic stewardship teams are urgently needed. Clinical microbiology and infection, 24(10), 1072-1077.
Saito, H., Inoue, M., Fujimoto, R., Sato, K., Yatsu, Y., & Sugama, J. (2020). Effect of education intervention on improvement of hand hygiene and incidence of health care-associated infections among pediatric hematology/oncology patients. American Journal of Infection Control, 48(5), 490-496.
Umscheid, C. A., Mitchell, M. D., Doshi, J. A., Agarwal, R., Williams, K., & Brennan, P. J. (2011). Estimating the proportion of healthcare-associated infections that are reasonably preventable and the related mortality and costs. Infection control and hospital epidemiology, 32(2),