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Nurse-Physician Collaboration and Hospital-Acquired Infections

This review aims to analyze a research article by Boev and Xia (2015) titled, “Nurse-Physician Collaboration and Hospital-acquired Infections in Critical Care” as a model to describe the problem of hospital-acquired infection. The study was based on the assumption that collaboration between nurses and physicians could have an impact on hospital-acquired infections. The authors wanted to examine the effect of the relationship between the nurses and physicians and how the relationship impacted the level of hospital-acquired infections, particularly in handling patients that were critically ill. This study targets health care providers as the primary audience. Prior to the analysis, I hypothesized that proper collaboration between the nurses and physicians decreased the rate of hospital-acquired infections.

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The authors obtained data by conducting 670 surveys that sought to know the views of ICU nurses regarding nosocomial infections. Two diseases, bloodstream infection associated with the central catheter and pneumonia resulting from ventilators, were used as the indicators of hospital-acquired infections. A multilevel modeling strategy was applied to establish the relationship existing between the two diseases and between the nurse and the physician. The findings showed that the rate of infections is inversely proportional to the level of collaboration. The rate of infection decreased whenever the collaboration was improved. It was also shown that the rate of infection decreased with the improved level of training. The rate of infection also decreased in situations where the nurse had adequate time to attend to one patient before moving to the next one.

The strength of this study is demonstrated in the reliability of the study findings. The study had a strong background sufficient enough to lead the reader to the study’s aims and objectives. The sample size was sufficient to represent the entire nursing and physician fraternity. The model of study and the fact, that the data analyzed was obtained from four different intensive care units, make the findings highly applicable to multiple settings. These results can be considered to be true, as they agree with findings from other studies, like Klevens (2007). The major weakness of the study was that there were no checks put in place to eliminate the possible bias that would result from the collected data. Using two major diseases may not provide an accurate picture of the status, because it eliminates other minor infections that may turn out to be fatal if not addressed.

Effective management of hospital-acquired infections is fundamental in combating the spread of diseases in the hospital setup (Messmer, 2008). This study provides vital information that can be used in achieving this cause. Of greater importance is the demonstration that improved collaboration between nurses and physicians reduces the rate of hospital infection significantly. Another significant finding was that the use of highly skilled and specialized nurses reduces the rate of infection and transmission. These findings have several implications. The nurses and physicians should develop a mechanism that will ensure proper collaboration for a better outcome. The management and relevant authorities should also ensure that nurses assigned to specialized wards are also specialized and well informed about the duties they are to perform. Further studies are also supposed to be done to describe the specific factors that can lead to a decrease in hospital-acquired infections. These findings support the hypothesis that better collaboration decreases the degree of hospital infections. Therefore, collaboration in the critical care units should be enhanced.


Boev, C., Xia, Y. (2015). Nurse-physician collaboration and hospital-acquired infections in critical care. Critical Care Nurse, 35(2), 66-72.

Klevens, R. M., Edwards, J. R., Richards, C. L. Jr, Horan, T. C… & Gaynes, R. P. et al. (2007). Estimating health care associated infections and deaths in US hospitals, 2002. Public Health Rep., 122(2), 160-166.

Messmer, P. (2008). Enhancing nurse-physician collaboration using pediatric simulation. Journal of Continuous Education in Nursing, 39(7), 319-327.

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