We have long known that healthcare associated infections lead to negative outcomes, increased costs and dissatisfaction with the healthcare system, yet there are many occasions when providers fail to wash their hands and sanitize small medical equipment. As healthcare providers, we never intend to do harm to our patients or actively think to not take precautions. Rather, we are focused on fulfilling other responsibilities and tasks pertaining to patient care and in a rush or moment of forgetfulness we neglect infection control basics. These lapses highlight the importance of a systems-based approach to ensure infection control practices are routinely implemented.
At StethoBarrier we view our products as a visual reminder of stethoscope hygiene and believe that offering a safe alternative to low quality disposable stethoscopes will lead to fewer protocol violations where providers use their own stethoscope on contact isolation patients.
Henry Ford Health System recently took an interesting approach of showing staff members the millions of bacteria that can grow off of common surfaces including unused gloves, doorknobs, a nurse station mouse, health-care workers' hands, a mobile phone and an ultrasound machine.
Their study was inspired by a previous study that was designed to provoke a feeling of disgust in healthcare workers as a means of motivating them to wash their hands. Following posting of the images, the study found that every participating unit experienced at least an 11% increase in hand-washing, with one unit improving by nearly 50%.
Photo Credit: CNN, Bacteria found on at ultrasound machine