Rethinking infection control protocols can yield huge returns

While infection control has long been a crucial focus in hospitals, the particular COVID-19 pandemic has created new difficulties to keep patients safe. This has forced infection control protocols and the expertise associated with infection prevention specialists to the front.

With a turmoil come new opportunities. The outbreak has opened the door to rethinking our patient safety strategies plus taking advantage of cost-effective solutions that earlier could take years to carry out. It is time for infection prevention professionals to have a more prominent voice in order to influence facilitywide decisionmaking and assist hospital leaders with these infection control issues .

Embracing change

While COVID-19 is best of mind, hospital-acquired infections, which includes MRSA, continue to be a concern.

Infection control specialists who are within tune with innovative technologies plus strategies can help hospital leaders sanction changes that will benefit patient treatment as well as reduce infection rates. A good example of how this can happen is the experience at AdventHealth North Pinellas.

We desired to take new steps to help prevent MRSA infections, not only because they are dangerous plus expensive, but also because we heard of a promising new strategy with a process that could help us rethink every thing we had previously done. The revolutionary approach involved rethinking how we reduce MRSA colonization risk, leveraged the particular role of the nose in illness and utilized a nasal sanitizer antiseptic for nasal decolonization. This program helped lower our MRSA prices substantially. It did not require an economic investment since the net result can include substantial savings, but it do call for a change in our processes. Even as we all know, rethinking protocols can be difficult to get healthcare facilities.

Once leadership understood the importance of rethinking our MRSA surgical-site infection methods, we needed a plan that would display the program’s efficacy and the advantage to our hospital system. The next step had been to educate all staff involved and set this new protocol through a demo.

The program had been implemented across all inpatients and everything surgery patients and used the nose sanitizer antiseptic for decolonization included in a proprietary suite of deductive tools and services. The results had been impressive. Within 12 months, we noticed a 100% decrease in MRSA medical wound infection. We also skilled no MRSA surgical site bacterial infections during the study period. The common decolonization protocol reduced isolation, making 60% reduction in the need for contact safety measures per 1, 000 patient times. That, in turn, led to more than $104, 000 in savings for dresses, gloves and nasal screening lab tests. Reducing personal protective equipment for the patients became even more important with additional PPE demand because of COVID-19.

Our system leadership has been quick to adopt the new protocol once we had results to back it up. However , with no leadership buy-in, none of this would possess happened. But with a leadership group that encouraged learning and development, and that was willing to make functional changes to adopt this new technique, we implemented this new process and saw immediate results which have improved our infection rates plus bottom line.

The path to new strategies

Infection control professionals must be able to address questions through stakeholders. For example , the chief financial official needs to understand the resources needed, as the chief nursing officer asks about how exactly these processes will affect the medical staff or patient experience. Planning a solid, well-thought-out plan means considering ahead and anticipating questions concerning every aspect of hospital leadership.

When presented with a new idea, decisionmakers tend to be hesitant to make main changes without clinical data or even proof of efficacy. When we adopted the brand new program there were few published research, so we conducted a small-scale test. We and other facilities have released outcomes data confirming efficacy therefore a test today would be unnecessary. Viewing positive results from a number of similar services, before implementing a change, can serve as a significant proof point in the effort to achieve buy-in from key decisionmakers.

It all comes down to adopting innovation and empowering teams. Producing major improvements in patient treatment and outcomes, staff utilization plus costs with no major capital expense is a challenge asked of all healthcare experts, but it can be done. It just takes some advancement, preparation and follow-up. But most significantly, it takes support from senior management.

In this COVID-19 era, which has affected so much in our lives, there has to be a continuing commitment to locating better ways of preventing and dealing with infections within hospitals. A promising method forward includes enabling infection preventionists to have a prominent voice, along with a lot more nimble thinking and support associated with hospital leaders as they navigate to some new, post-pandemic world.