Quality Improvement Project on Hand Washing among Health Care Providers
Poor hand washing practices are primary causes of health care associated infections (HAIs) across the globe. According to WHO (2009), approximately 1 out of 10 patients in the world suffer from health care-acquired infections (HAIs). Mostly, HAIs are highly experienced in developing countries compared to developed countries. About 70% of health care providers neglect the routine of hand hygiene practices (Mitchell et al., 2017). Health care associated infections affect patients’ safety in various ways, including increased costs for patient care, increased resistance of pathogens to treatments, long-term patient’s disabilities, and long-days of hospital stays.
Studies show that HAIs exist in every healthcare facility and systems, and is universal worldwide; hence, every patient is at risk of developing the illness. Research indicates that over 1.5 million patients around the world acquire HAI (Mitchell et al., 2017). Healthcare associated infections increase the morbidity and mortality rate of patients. Out of 25 patients in the United States, at least one patient in acute care setting acquires the infection. Since hand hygiene is the primary cause of HAIs, issues related to unsafe patient to nurse care, lack of knowledge, and irritation of skin from antimicrobial drugs can hinder the effectiveness of hand hygiene. However, health practitioners require adequate health care and hand hygiene practices education to minimize HAIs problems. Therefore, this quality improvement project paper provides understanding and educational to health care providers on guidelines to follow to enhance hand hygiene and patients’ safety.
Aims of QI Project
The main purpose of this quality improvement project in hand washing practices is to reduce the risks associated with hand hygiene and increase patients’ safety. The quality improvement implementation team should adhere to strategic plans to meet the following objectives, thus enhance patients’ safety. The primary aims of the project developed include providing enough knowledge and education materials to healthcare providers to increase hand hygiene compliances to 80% within eight months. The other goal is to establish effective handling hygiene practices in health care institutions to promote patients’ safety and reduce adverse hand hygiene effects by 50% within one year.
The QI project requires practical teams to achieve the set goals in the improvement of hand hygiene practices. The project team leader is the Infection Control Director (ICD) who will provide stakeholders with strategic infection control guidelines and measures; thus, reduce HAIs risks. The ICD is in charge of change implementation and arrangement for the organizational transformation process. The second member is the quality director who facilitates the process of quality improvement project. The quality director has enough knowledge on the quality improvement requirements and plans that can successfully bring change in hand washing practices. The Intensive Care Unit team members are also important in the quality improvement project. The ICU members must be aware of the importance of hand hygiene; hence, they should participate in hand hygiene training to acquire enough knowledge. Other team members include the Supervisor ICP, infection control link nurses, nursing supervisor, and the MOH (US Department of Health and Human Services 2018). The supervisors will coordinate and monitor the project and motivate other stakeholders.
The target outcome measure for this project is the quality of hand hygiene in consideration the number of patients with infectious disease per 1,000 patient days, a prevalence of events per year. The project involves the measure of the percentage time at which health care providers adhere WHO hand hygiene guidelines while handling a patient. The project assesses the opportunities that physicians have in order to perform effective hand hygiene practices and how many times health practitioners perform the practices.
Selecting Change Strategy
It is appropriate for the QI team to select a fundamental change in healthcare facilities to enhance patient safety. The team develops a strategic tool for the refining and selection of a change. The appropriate tool for selecting change in this QI project is benchmarking (Goksoy, Ozsoy & Vayvay 2012). Learning from other people about hand hygiene is an essential way for the QI team to identify necessary interventions to inform or educate health practitioners on effective strategies to enhance behavioral change.
Testing Change Strategy
The QI team will employ an appropriate strategy to test the effectiveness of the fundamental change in this QI project implementation. This strategic change testing process is PDSA (plan-do-study-act) cycle. The PDSA cycle will help the QI team test multiple ideas, theories, and predictions before the formal QI project implementation (Khurana et al., 2018); hence, test the quality and performance rate of hand washing practices and improve behavioral change in health facilities.
The change implementation process follows the appropriate selected and tested change for its effectiveness in an organization. The QI leader should strengthen the team by supporting performances and enhancing skill development and teamwork among health practitioners. The strategy should also focus on the determination of hand washing champions’ network. Allow leaders to train health workers and motivate behavioral change on hand hygiene practices.
Handling hygiene is an appropriate way of controlling and preventing risks of infectious disease spread, thus the practice promotes patients’ safety in health organizations (World Health Organization 2009). This quality improvement project desire to increase awareness among health care providers on the importance of effective hand washing and hand washing techniques to minimize the effects of hand hygiene acquired infections.
Goksoy, A., Ozsoy, B., & Vayvay, O. (2012). Business process reengineering: strategic tool for managing organizational change an application in a multinational company. International Journal of Business and Management, 7(2), 89.
Khurana, S., Saini, S. S., Sundaram, V., Dutta, S., & Kumar, P. (2018). Reducing healthcare-associated infections in neonates by standardizing and improving compliance to aseptic non-touch techniques: A quality improvement approach. Indian Pediatrics, 55(9), 748-752.
Mitchell, A., Boisvert, E., Wilson, T., & Hogan, S. (2017). Hand Hygiene: A Quality Improvement Project. Biomedical Journal of Scientific & Technical Research, 1(7), 1985-1988.
US Department of Health and Human Services. (2018). Quality improvement. Health Resources and Services Administration, April 2011. Retrieved from: https://www.hrsa.gov/sites/default/files/quality/toolbox/508pdfs/qualityimprovement.pdf accessed on July 17, 2020
World Health Organization. (2009). WHO guidelines on hand hygiene in health care: first global patient safety challenge clean care is safer care. World Health Organization.