The Joint Commission (TJC) has released its National Patient Safety Goals for 2020. According to TJC, these goals are developed in an effort to improve patient safety in hospitals in the coming year. These are areas where TJC sees room for improvement in the healthcare industry. With regards to infection prevention, TJC has enumerated five goals. Review these goals and see if your facility measures up, then read on to see a few ways your facility can work to improve upon these areas.
For more detailed ways of tackling each point on TJC’s list, click on each one to view an informative PDF provided by Massachusetts General Hospital.
Use the hand cleaning guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization. Set goals for improving hand cleaning. Use the goals to improve hand cleaning (NPSG.07.01.01).
There are a few common threads that unite all of these goals that your facility can target in order to achieve better outcomes for your patients.
Education is the most important weapon in your arsenal against the spread of healthcare acquired infections (HAIs). It is vital for everyone on your staff to be trained and thoroughly educated on how HAIs spread to patients in each of the five categories outlined by TJC. If your staff fully understands the risks associated with their actions, there’s a higher chance they will abide by the processes your facility has in place to prevent HAIs. Additionally, patients themselves and even their visitors can be educated on proper procedures and what they can do to prevent transmitting or acquiring infections.
It is also important for your facility to develop and implement proven and evidence-based standard operating procedures for each and every procedure performed at your facility. These procedures should be developed with regulatory requirements in mind and using guidelines provided by professional organizations, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO). Implementing standardized procedures can be extremely helpful in assisting healthcare workers to prevent the spread of infections.
Lastly, to lower the possibility for the spread of HAIs to patients and healthcare workers, your facility can focus on hand washing. As you can see above, it is the number one goal stated by the TJC in infection prevention and there is good reason for this. Good hand cleaning habits and technique can go a long way in stopping HAIs in their tracks. There are many misconceptions about handwashing (like that wearing gloves provides complete protection from acquiring infection) that must be clarified. The CDC provides some really great infographics you can post around your healthcare facility that help educate healthcare workers and patients about good hand hygiene. And if you’d like more information, peruse the CDC’s informative Guideline for Hand Hygiene.
At CS Medical, we strive to help put an end to HAIs. Contact us if you’d like some helpful tips and pointers to help stop the spread of HAIs with regards to your TEE probe reprocessing procedures. Our TEE Complete Care Process is a great place to start!