Scientific literature: Hospital hygiene

The number of peer-reviewed papers covering the field of hospital hygiene is huge, to such an extent that it is frequently difficult for healthcare professionals to keep up with the literature. As a special service to our readers, International Hospital presents a few key literature abstracts from the clinical and scientific literature chosen by our editorial board as being particularly worthy of attention.

Hand Hygiene: State-of-the-Art Review With Emphasis on New Technologies and Mechanisms of Surveillance

Marra A, Edmond E. Current Infect. Disease Reports.  2012 Dec. 14:6: 585-591.

Hand hygiene (HH) is an important measure in infection prevention to decrease transmission of microbial pathogens; however, HH compliance by healthcare workers (HCWs) remains suboptimal. One of the principal recommendations of current guidelines is that waterless, alcohol-based hand rubs are the preferred method for HH in most situations, due to the superior efficacy of these agents in rapidly reducing bacterial counts on hands and their ease of use. Improving HH compliance is a good quality indicator for hospital patient safety programmes. Observers can follow HCWs to perform direct HH observations; however, HCWs may be prompted to clean their hands when observers are nearby, which does not represent real-world conditions. Moreover, having observers walk into patient rooms violates patient privacy and is time consuming. HH strategies using indirect metrics for surveillance (e.g., measuring the volume of HH products consumed) and the use of new technologies (e.g., electronic dispenser counters, radiofrequency, alcohol sensors, and video recording) will also be discussed.

Infection control practices among doctors and nurses in a tertiary care hospital

Jain M et al.  Ann Trop Med Public Health 2012;5:29-33

Basic infection control measures in any healthcare setup can reduce the rates of healthcare-associated infections. A study to assess the knowledge and practice of 400 healthcare personnel regarding hospital infection control practices was performed. A structured questionnaire was distributed to the study group and collected the same day. Knowledge and practices of 329 nurses and 71 doctors regarding hand hygiene, standard precautions (SPs), hospital environmental cleaning and needle stick injury were collected and analysed. The results show that the study group had suboptimal knowledge regarding the SPs (55.3%) and risks associated with needle stick injuries (31.8%). The implementation of SPs was biased towards the HIV positive status of the patient. Only 57% of the doctors and nurses followed the maximal barrier precautions before a central venous catheter insertion. The study concludes that the lack of knowledge and practices regarding basic infection control protocols should be improved by way of educational intervention, in the form of formal training of the doctors and nurses and reinforcement of the same.

Is reprocessing after disuse a safety procedure for bronchoscopy? A cross-sectional study in a teaching hospital in Rome.

Marino M et al. Gastroenterol Nurs. 2012 Sep; 35(5): 324-30.

A bacteriological assessment was carried out of flexible bronchoscopes that were stored after a reprocessing procedure was performed to determine whether reprocessing removes microbiological contamination and whether the instruments could be used safely after extended storage without repeating the disinfection before bronchoscopy. The pre-reprocessing and post-reprocessing liquid sample that was taken from the stored instruments