National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has warned infection rates are currently at a highly unacceptable rate. Among the high rates of infection include MRSA and Clostridium difficile as well as
other infections. As a result doctors are urged to re-double hygiene efforts as 1 in 16 NHS patients are picking up an infection. Indeed, this is an incredibly high level, roughly equivalent to two children in every classroom, in every school in the UK picking up an infection when they’re in hospital.
What can be done?
Each hospital has a team dedicated to the control of infection, however, it is not just down to them to ensure infection remains low; it is everyone’s responsibilities from doctors and nurses to visitors.
All incidents of infections are recorded and stored. If the levels of infection are at large then measures have be taken to resolve this.
General guidelines used by hospitals are to work harder to keep hospitals clean, encourage the use of hand gel by staff and visitors, staff to wear gloves and overalls at all times as well as other guidelines.
However, it is not simply enough to do this, it has to measured and recorded against infection incidents to assess their impact against infection incidents.
The following data sets could be used to get a clearer picture of infection control:
– Hand Gel uses: How often are the hand gel rubs replaced and where in the hospital, as it will give an indication towards its usage.
– Money spent on cleaning.
– Hours cleaners spend at a hospital and where.
– Patient experience: Patient experience can be of most benefit. Patients could be citing dirty floors, bed sheets not being changed; they could have observed various things, which they may mention in their patient experience.
All these different data sets and more will contribute in identifying specific problems that may be behind the prevalence of infections and therefore hospitals can make more particular decisions as opposed to a generic call for better hygiene.
How can this be done?
An interactive dashboard can bring together all the related data sets on space to provide a full 360 view of infection control. Using a hypothetical example, if patients from a particular ward were complaining about cleanliness of the bathroom, this can get the hospital to act. The purpose of the dashboard is to identify the smaller issues that make a big difference.
Moreover, you’re able to incorporate the same data for all hospitals in a given trust and perform a cross analysis. Healthcare professionals are able to identify why and how hospital A is doing better than hospital B and as a result can establish best practice guidelines.
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