|Soource: Royal College of Nursing.org|
We are not as good as we think.
The prevalence of hospital-acquired infections has decreased to 3.2% from 4% of hospitalized patients, as just reported here in the New England Journal of Medicine. No significant improvement in C. difficile infection was reported.
This is a modest safety gain in my opinion.
C difficile reduction has lagged because of ongoing antibiotic overuse, overly sensitive testing mechanisms (PCR) and less than optimal environmental disinfection. Probable diverse reservoirs for transmission, including the community, are also contributing factors.
To further improve the prevalence of hospital-acquired infections healthcare systems must vigorously focus on implementation science, with the specific use of pragmatic, real world interventions that reliably decrease risk. This includes consistent mechanisms to ensure hand hygiene, patient chlorhexidene bathing, the use of safety checklists/safety time-outs and heighten environmental disinfection. In addition, more strategies are needed to improve antibiotic use so as to minimize over treatment and selective pressure for drug resistant bacteria.
We can do better for the safety of our patients.