Infection Prevention Method Combines Proven Treatments
Thousands of hospitals in the U.S. and abroad have joined an Institute for Healthcare Improvement campaign that "bundles" a series of proven medical treatments to reduce unnecessary and potentially deadly infections and serious health complications in patients, according to the organization, USA Today reports.
IHI officials say bundling encourages teamwork among physicians, nurses and pharmacists who provide patient care. IHI Director Fran Griffin said the benefit of bundling is in its "all or nothing" approach. Griffin said, "We don't want to say (to patients), 'We'll give you half of the items on the list -- which ones do you want?'"
For example, a bundle for central-line catheters, which is to be completed before every insertion to reduce the risk of infection, includes a checklist of processes such as hand hygiene, the use of scrubbing chemicals to kill bacteria, selecting the best possible placement for the insertion and daily inspections of the line's necessity. Bundles also have been developed for ventilator-associated pneumonia and septic shock.
Hand hygiene is a basic element of most bundles, and IHI Senior Vice President Donald Goldmann said hospital staff compliance has been about 50% over the past several years (Baker, USA Today, 1/16).