Thursday, November 21, 2013

Stethoscope Disinfection

Here is a recent publication on stethoscope disinfection.

Stethoscopes are contaminated with pathogenic bacteria and pose a theoretical risk for cross transmission.

Baskets were filled with alcohol prep pads and a sticker reminding providers to regularly disinfect stethoscopes were installed outside of patient rooms. Healthcare providers' stethoscope disinfection behaviors were directly observed before and after the intervention. Multivariable logistic regression models were created to identify independent predictors of stethoscope disinfection. 

Two hundred twenty-six observations were made in the preintervention period and 261 in the postintervention period (83% were of physicians). Stethoscope disinfection compliance increased significantly from a baseline of 34% to 59% post-intervention. In adjusted analyses, the postintervention period was associated with improved disinfection among both physicians (odds ratio [OR], 2.3 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.4-3.5]) and nurses (OR, 14.3 [95% CI, 4.6-44.6]). Additional factors independently associated with disinfection included subspecialty unit (vs general pediatrics; OR, 0.5 [95% CI, 0.3-0.8]) and contact precautions (OR, 2.3 [95% CI, 1.2-4.1]). 

So providing stethoscope disinfection supplies and visible reminders outside of patient rooms may increase stethoscope disinfection rates. 

The intervention is simple and reasonable and is consistent with a horizontal infection prevention strategy. The actual impact on healthcare associated infections is unknown.

1 comment:

  1. please show me a picture of the baskets filled with alcohol prep pads and a sticker