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Hospital-Acquired Infections Prevention in Intensive Care Unit Patients

The Strategy for Disseminating the Results

The first strategy of disseminating the results will entail the use of brochures and newsletters. These periodic publications (quarterly) will serve the purpose of informing the nurses and other stakeholders about the progress of the project. The data will also highlight the areas of achievement, which will motivate the nurses to improve their performance. O’Neal and Manley (2007) have underscored the significance of developing brochures and newsletters professionally. The essence of this activity is to ensure that the brochures and newsletters are presentable to the hospital administrators and other external parties. In addition, Gale and Schaffer (2009) have noted that these documents lay the foundation for developing the final report.

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Secondly, the hospital should also use its website to inform the staff and members of the public about the new guidelines. According to Titler (2007), it is easy to update and access the information located on web pages. Nonetheless, the target audience should be aware of this information and motivated to visit the website (Gale & Schaffer, 2009). The brochures and newsletters will contain the hospital’s web address to inform the critical care nurses about the presence of additional information. On the other hand, the website should also have hyperlinks, which will direct the visitors to other sources of similar information. The hospital can also include downloadable documents and reports on the website to facilitate the distribution of the information.

Third, workshops, seminars, and conferences will be other critical techniques of disseminating the results. The primary advantage of these approaches is that they will allow the hospital administrators and change agents to consult with the target audiences (Acheterberg, Schoonhoven, & Grol, 2008). Further, the face-to-face interactions will be significant to provide feedback about the performance of the new guidelines and protocols. In addition, these forums will allow the audience to make proposals for quality improvement based on the current evidence and challenges (Oman, Duran, & Fink, 2008).

The Evaluation Plan

Methods for Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Project

The implementation of this pilot project will employ a phased-out approach. First, it will not be financially feasible to introduce antimicrobial uniforms in all the hospital units at once. Second, this project requires complex logistics in terms of procurement, production, and supply. The initial stage of this program will entail the introduction of this attire in the ICU and postoperative recovery units. Thus, it will be essential to conduct a randomized control trial (RCT) to validate the clinical efficacy of the new interventions. The data from this research design will ascertain the clinical efficacy of introducing antimicrobial uniforms to the other hospital units. According to Oman, Duran, and Fink (2008), RCTs constitute the gold standard for evaluating the effectiveness of health projects.

Variables for Assessment

The evaluation process will measure the following variables. First, the nurses’ behavior regarding the use of microbial uniforms will be imperative to assess the level of compliance. Second, the nurses’ knowledge of the new protocols and guidelines will determine the need for further education and training. Third, it is essential to evaluate the nurses’ self-confidence in incorporating the new guidelines into the nursing practice. Fourth, the nurses’ perceptions and attitudes will determine their adaptation to the implemented changes. Finally, the level of staff turnover and absenteeism will ascertain if the nurses are satisfied with the new guidelines.

Tools for Educating the Participants

The proposed solution will involve the replacement of the standard nursing uniforms with antimicrobial clothing. In addition, this strategy will complement the existing hand hygiene guidelines and protocols. The purpose of these strategies is to reduce the prevalence and incidences of hospital-acquired infections among ICU patients. Thus, it is essential to educate the critical care nurses about these new interventions. The first strategy for accomplishing this goal will entail the development of brochures and fliers. These documents will contain a summary of the new procedures and protocols. The information will also include the rationale for introducing the new policies, including the perceived benefits and outcomes.

Secondly, the use of questionnaires will be essential to collect raw data from the participants (Oman et al., 2008). The primary objective of this survey will be to assess the critical nurses’ attitudes and beliefs about the new processes. The information gathered from these procedures will identify gaps in knowledge and possible barriers to effectual implementation. The hospital administrators will use the analyzed data to develop teaching materials to address the issues. For example, a PowerPoint presentation during workshops and regular meetings will provide more information about the project. In addition, the use of simulators will play an important role in modeling the optimal nursing practice. The simulation and other multimedia tools will illustrate the optimal nursing practices.

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Tools for Evaluating the Outcomes of the Project

The use of the focus group discussions will be useful in measuring the outcomes of the solutions. A focus group is a qualitative approach that collects data about an explicit and concrete goal. According to Oman et al. (2008), the focus group discussions will provide crucial information about the success or failure of the project. The nurses will use the comments and reactions of their colleagues to develop a synergy of discussions. Conversely, some of the nurses may not feel comfortable contributing in a group setting. In addition, the groupthink phenomenon may lead to the collection of biased information (Acheterberg et al., 2008). As such, it will be critical to triangulate the information generated from the focus group with other sources.

Another technique for evaluating the effectiveness of the new policies and protocols will be the analysis of tasks. Task analysis is a quantitative tool that describes, analyzes, and documents the procedures used by employees to achieve organizational goals (Schifalacqua, Costello, & Denman, 2009). This approach will diagnose the current needs and detect the potential for making quality improvements. The task analysis process will precede the assessment of performance indicators. The former technique will focus on examining the effectiveness of the new systems. By contrast, the latter approach will pay more attention to the achievement of results. The risk of using this tool is that it requires resources and time that may not have been included in initial plans (Gale & Schaffer, 2009).

The performance observations will be extremely necessary to document the current procedures and systems. External reviewers will gather first-hand information regarding the performance of the newly introduced antimicrobial techniques. For instance, the assessors will observe if the nurses are sanitizing their hands before handling patients. Thus, the performance observations will form the basis for determining the practicability and feasibility of these procedures (Titler, 2007). On the other hand, this technique will enable the hospital administrators to identify the barriers to effectual implementation. The reviewers will have a chance to get practical experience by interacting with the nurses as they provide care (Gale & Schaffer, 2009).

References

Acheterberg, T., Schoonhoven, L., & Grol, R. (2008). Nursing implementation science: How evidence based nursing requires evidence based implementation. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 40, 302–310.

Gale, B., & Schaffer, M. (2009). Organizational readiness for evidence-based practice. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 39(2), 91–97.

O’Neal, H., & Manley, K. (2007). Action planning: Making change happen in clinical practice. Nursing Standard, 21(35), 35-39.

Oman, K. S., Duran, C., & Fink, R. M. (2008). Evidence-based policies and procedures: An algorithm for success. Journal of Nursing Administration, 38(1), 47–51.

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Schifalacqua, M., Costello, C., & Denman, W. (2009). Roadmap for planned change: Part 1: Change leadership and project management. Nurse Leader, 7(2), 26-29.

Titler, M.G. (2007). Translating research into practice. American Journal of Nursing, 107(6), 26–33.

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