I attended a change management training program entitled ‘Instituting a Hand-Washing Initiative: Increasing Compliance and Decreasing Infection Rate’ organized by a local community-based healthcare center in the month of March. The program targeted the healthcare providers, especially the on-site nurses and the general community healthcare mobilization team. Specifically, the purpose of the program was to provide the attendees so that they could apply this knowledge in handling patients. As a nurse, the activity enabled me to acquire vital information on how simple adherence to hand hygiene could substantially reduce infections when handling patients (Garus-Pakowska, Sobala, & Szatko, 2013). I learned that hand washing is an evidence-based practice with a vast amount of data on its impacts on the general healthcare provision environment.
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The hand washing training was meant to address the challenge of avoidable infections in healthcare provision through improvement of hygiene. Specifically, the program highlighted the need for nurses to comply with hand hygiene before attending to a patient. According to the data presented at the training, there is a general low hand hygiene compliance rate among healthcare workers. The poor hygiene has increased the hospital-acquired patient infections. The C-diff spread raised concerns about poor compliance. Apparently, increased hospital-acquired infections have an impact on the cost of providing healthcare and general wellness of the patients (Hockenberry & Wilson, 2013). Through participation in this activity, a nurse will be able to understand the value of hand hygiene to minimize the spread of hospital-acquired infections among patients.
The solution proposed was presented in the form of a change model consisting of six points as summarized below.
Step 1: Need for change assessment: Reduction of hospital-acquired infections currently on the rise.
Step 2: Linking the problem, intervention, and outcome: Compliance is a big issue in improving hand hygiene. Interventions should include performing audits, re-educating staff, and enforcing a disciplinary code (Garus-Pakowska et al., 2013).
Step 3: Best evidence synthesis: Data presented suggested that compliance with hand washing is severely lacking. Most HCW practice hand washing when the risks they are exposed to are perceived as high, and not necessarily to protect patients (Garus-Pakowska et al., 2013).
Step 4: Actual change design: The proposed hand hygiene initiative should adopt a multi-discipline approach to monitor compliance through frequent audits and extra nursing training programs.
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Step 5: Integrating the hand hygiene practice: Performing an annual review of compliance competency in terms of the number of reported hospital-infections at the beginning and end of each year (Garus-Pakowska et al., 2013).
The hand hygiene activity is designed to capture best practices in the provision of healthcare through reduction of hospital-acquired infections. The best practices are made in the form of a policy that can be applied in any healthcare center. There are frameworks for monitoring its success and performing periodic audits (Hockenberry & Wilson, 2013). As a nurse, this activity has given me a chance to understand the impact of hand hygiene on effective service delivery and avoidance of infections.
Program Competencies Addressed
The competencies addressed are healthcare improvement, compliance, and efficiency in service delivery in a holistic environment. These competencies are angled on quality improvement to facilitate proactive engagement between a nurse and a patient (Hockenberry & Wilson, 2013). As part of the Healthy People 2020 index, this activity presents a research-based intervention for sustainable healthcare service provision (Garus-Pakowska et al., 2013).
Garus-Pakowska, A., Sobala, W., & Szatko, F. (2013). Observance of hand washing procedures performed by the medical personnel before patient contact. Part 1. International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental HealtH, 26(1), 113-121.
Hockenberry, M., & Wilson, D. (2013). Wong’s nursing care of infants and children multimedia enhanced version (9th ed.). New York, NY: Elsevier Health Sciences.