First Faculty Mentor

Mrs. Tanya Smith

Department

Nursing

Award

3rd Non-Empirical Undergraduate

Classification

Undergraduate (4+ years)

Description

Every year patients admitted to hospitals all over the nation develop healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) when receiving care. This number decreases with each passing year, but these infections have not been totally eliminated. HAIs can be caused by invasive procedures, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). Another common incidence of infection is from peripheral intravenous catheters and central-line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI). These infection-causing pathogens are found throughout every hospital so it is imperative that caregivers, particularly nurses, practice standard precautions to reduce the incidence of infections. However, infection control for existing peripheral and central intravenous sites goes beyond standard infection control and should be followed by hospital protocol. For many hospitals, this means using a 70% alcohol wipe to disinfect the catheter hubs before use. This includes accessing the intravenous line to push a single dose of medication or to connect it to an infusion. However, new studies show that the use of disinfection caps that are impregnated with 70% alcohol have had a vast impact on infection control for maintenance of intravenous catheters (AACN Bold Voices, 2013). To reduce HAIs resulting from improper intravenous catheter cleaning, the use of disinfection caps should be implemented in hospitals across the nation. To apply this change in hospitals, the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) method for testing change will be used. After implementing the change from scrubbing intravenous ports with wipes to using disinfection caps, expected results would include lower HAI rates and an increased awareness of easily transmissible infectious pathogens.

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Make the Change: Using Disinfection Caps on Catheter Ports

Every year patients admitted to hospitals all over the nation develop healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) when receiving care. This number decreases with each passing year, but these infections have not been totally eliminated. HAIs can be caused by invasive procedures, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). Another common incidence of infection is from peripheral intravenous catheters and central-line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI). These infection-causing pathogens are found throughout every hospital so it is imperative that caregivers, particularly nurses, practice standard precautions to reduce the incidence of infections. However, infection control for existing peripheral and central intravenous sites goes beyond standard infection control and should be followed by hospital protocol. For many hospitals, this means using a 70% alcohol wipe to disinfect the catheter hubs before use. This includes accessing the intravenous line to push a single dose of medication or to connect it to an infusion. However, new studies show that the use of disinfection caps that are impregnated with 70% alcohol have had a vast impact on infection control for maintenance of intravenous catheters (AACN Bold Voices, 2013). To reduce HAIs resulting from improper intravenous catheter cleaning, the use of disinfection caps should be implemented in hospitals across the nation. To apply this change in hospitals, the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) method for testing change will be used. After implementing the change from scrubbing intravenous ports with wipes to using disinfection caps, expected results would include lower HAI rates and an increased awareness of easily transmissible infectious pathogens.