Columbia publishes '1st evidence' of link between patient safety climates, HAIs

What is being called "the first published evidence" of positive patient safety climates found to predict healthcare-associated infections and health outcomes was published April 12 in the American Journal of Infection Control.

The research, led by experts from Columbia University School of Nursing in New York City, looked at 5,285 standard precaution observations and a total of 452 surveys collected from nurses across 43 hospital units. Safety adherence, healthcare worker exposure and healthcare-associated infections data were also analyzed alongside the survey results. 

Notably, healthcare-associated infections increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to separate research published in JAMA April 13. 

Columbia University researchers' findings highlight a clear link between something that may seem obvious, but previously had no published evidence: a positive culture of safety and adherence to standard precautions — ranging from hand hygiene to personal protective equipment use and proper disposal of all sharps tools — are all linked to a lower risk of blood-borne and other infections in healthcare workers, as well as the prevention of HAIs. 

"Despite the infection prevention and safety benefits associated with standard precautions, generating consistent adherence in the healthcare setting has been notoriously challenging, for reasons that are not completely clear," Amanda Hessels, MSN, PhD, lead author of the study, said in a statement to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. "To our knowledge, our study findings are the first to demonstrate an association between adherence, hospitals' patient-safety climates, and outcomes, and should help to advance the state of the science in patient and occupational health and safety."

Closely following these tactics, however, happens less than 50 percent of the time, past research has shown. 

"The findings from this study provide important insights into the factors that impact HAIs and occupational injuries and will help IPs design focused strategies for improvement," Patricia Jackson, RN, president for the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, said. Ms. Jackson was not part of the research team that led these findings, but responded to it in an April 13 statement.

Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars