Research for infection protection

Standardised working processes for better hygiene

Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are able to considerably increase the employees’ willingness to implement hygiene recommendations. Based on an intervention study that the BODE SCIENCE CENTER conducted at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), new standards for nursing and medical activities have been defined. From a patient safety viewpoint, these standards are ideal; if need be, they have to be adapted to local circumstances. Specially marked individual steps and their right order are indispensable for infection protection.

The feedback of the study participants proved that the improvement of the working processes can easily be integrated into daily routine: more than 90 % of the respondents considered the intervention helpful or non-disruptive.

Advantages of standardised working processes

A crucial barrier to compliance is the widespread uncertainty when to perform which hygiene measures at the patient’s bed. In the study, standard operating procedures proved to be real compliance boosters. The benefits to the healthcare facilities are obvious:

  • Patient protection: when focusing on individual steps that involve an infection risk patient safety increases.
  • Routine: well comprehensible, structured processes help nursing staff gain security in implementing hygiene measures within complex clinical working processes.
  • Efficiency and saving of time: not all hygiene measures are necessary for infection protection. SOPs ensure that no needless hygiene measures are carried out.

For the intervention in the study, which focused on the insertion of a peripheral venous catheter (PVC), the ideal process was defined based on three evidence-based recommendations (WHO, CDC, RKI). This process comprises five sub-steps with relevance to patient safety (evidence level 1A or 1B):

  • hand disinfection before touching the patient
  • skin antisepsis of the puncture site
  • no palpation of disinfected puncture site
  • hand disinfection before aseptic procedures
  • sterile dressing of puncture site

Optimising working processes – also in your facility

For staff to better memorise the ideal working process for PVC insertion during the intervention, there are sheets for trays and posters available:

Jointly with the UKE, HARTMANN and the BODE SCIENCE CENTER have established standards for further clinical working processes, for example, the management of central venous accesses and the change of a dressing. Depending on the process, the number and order of steps relevant to patient protection varies.

Under SCIENCE, you will find the intervention study.

A study on the risk of infection emanating from peripheral venous catheters you will find here.

Click here to read a case report on catheter-associated bloodstream infection.

Film: Optimising nursing standards – increasing patient safety.

You want to improve hygiene in your facility?

Then please click here

You want to improve hygiene in your facility?

Then please click here