The problem of patient readmission to the hospital after a short period has become the reason for concern in the recent period. Investigations have been conducted to find out that most of the cases occurred because of infections transmitted due to the insufficient hand hygiene practices among the personnel. The evaluation of facts suggests that the hand hygiene is crucial for the reduction of the cross-contamination from one patient to another and thus, for the improvement of the statistics on the early patient readmission problem that in its turn affects the financial performance of the hospital. This project will offer the multi-angled solution to the existing problem.
Background for the Solutions Selection
The offered solutions were selected based on the findings made by Kilpatrick, Murdoch, and Storr (2012) who have stated that nursing professionals have the primary engagement in the problem identified and the writer’s personal experience obtained through the clinical practice. In addition, the selection of the solutions was affected by the findings made by Mortell (2012) who stated that multiple strategies are more effective than those using education alone and thus, the action plan will include a number of steps that are to be taken to improve hand hygiene standards. Finally, the solutions are inspired by the Gould (2010) findings explaining that the hand hygiene practices for each particular health care institution are to be adapted to the local needs.
Solutions to the Identified Problem
First, the 5 moments approach for hand hygiene recommended by the World Health Organization provides an approach to train, monitor and report hand hygiene. According to CDC (2011), the 5 moments are as follows:
- a healthcare provider is to wash one’s hands before touching the patient;
- a healthcare provider is to wash one’s hands before performing clean or aseptic procedures;
- a healthcare provider is to wash one’s hands after body fluid exposure risk (i.e. a Foley bag and stoma bags);
- a healthcare provider is to wash one’s hands after touching a patient (to prevent cross-contamination);
- a healthcare provider is to wash one’s hands after touching patient surroundings(i.e. patient in contact isolation).
Some considerations need to be taken into account when doing hand washing. A health care provider is to remove the nail polish and remove any jewelry. Antimicrobial solutions should always be used per the manufacturer instructions.
Further, control programs are needed to improve hand hygiene compliance among staff. This includes easy accessibility of wash stations, one-use towels, antiseptics and alcohol hand gel dispenser put on the walls, ongoing education and training (in services), and organizational recognition and support from management to acknowledge the compliance (Azis, 2013). The administration may decide to introduce the IT system controlling whether the nursing professional washing one’s hands before working with the patient. This practice is getting more popular in a number of hospitals around U.S.
Finally, educational materials are also an important part in informing staff and visitors about hand hygiene. In some institutions, posters are being implemented to display at entrances where the public and staff can visualize and obtain information about what is right. Regular reminders need to be given via education and training to maintain hand hygiene in the mind of staff, visitors, and patients to prevent the spreading of microbiological agents, virus, and diseases that could have been easily avoided by following simple steps (Holy, 2011).
The Process of the Solutions Implementation
The process of the solutions implementation will include educating and training the administration, nursing professionals, and the support staff to perform their roles according to the provided instructions. The educating and training session will be held with each group separately and will take 30 minutes. Plan implementation will begin the next day. After the period of the first month, the evaluation will take place to measure the effectiveness of the offered strategy and make alterations if needed.
The Role of the Administration
The administration will be responsible for the control of the plan implementation by the nursing professionals and ancillary staff. In addition, they will educate and train the nursing professionals and the ancillary staff.
The Role of the Nurse
The nursing professionals will be responsible for the strict implementation of the hand hygiene guidance provided.
The Role of the Support Staff
The support staff will need to make sure that the detergents, one-use towels, and other resources are readily available as all patients care units.
In conclusion, as hand hygiene is a fundamental component of safety measures, it should be implemented by the health care professionals to reduce the risk of infection and enhance patient safety. The best hand hygiene practice to follow and to ensure compliance is subject to many factors. The final determination per all this evidence for hand washing is that it is up to the health care provider to ensure that hand hygiene is done properly and timely. It is ethical, moral and appropriate for patient care regardless of the condition.
Azis, A. (2013). How better availability of materials improves hand hygiene compliance. British Journal of Nursing, 22(8), 458-463.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2011). Hand hygiene in healthcare settings. Web.
Gould, D. (2010). Hand hygiene guidance works best when it can be adapted to local needs. Nursing standard, 25(6), 32.
Holy, C. (2011). Interventions to improve hand hygiene compliance in patient care. International Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare. 9(3), 276-277. Web.
Kilpatrick, C., Murdoch, H, & Storr, J. (2012). Importance of hand hygiene during invasive procedures. Nursing Standard, 26(41), 42-46.
Mortell, M. (2012). Hand hygiene compliance: is there a theory–practice-ethics gap? British Journal of Nursing, 21(17), 1011-1014.