Healthcare workers support empowering patients to prevent HAIs, study finds

Any efforts aimed at promoting safety and preventing healthcare-associated infections should involve all stakeholders, including patients, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with 29 staff members at a large hospital in Sydney, Australia, to analyze the knowledge and attitudes of healthcare workers toward the concept of patient empowerment related to improving infection control practices.

The interviews revealed a near unanimous agreement between the participants that patients should be considered a stakeholder and should have a role in preventing HAIs. Across the board, the participants expressed acceptance of the idea of patient empowerment and engagement in preventing infections, as well as surprise that the hospital had not yet adopted the concept.

Still, the workers recognized there are key barriers to implementing any patient empowerment programs, including:

1. Lack of support
2. Busy workloads
3. Negative attitudes

Ultimately, the researchers concluded patient engagement remains an underused method of preventing HAIs.

"By extending the concept of patient empowerment to a range of infection prevention opportunities, the positive impact of this intervention will not only extend to the patient but to the system itself," they wrote.



More articles on empowering and engaging patients:
Beaumont-Royal Oak hospital-based midwifery program empowers patients
Patient engagement: Compliance requires more than a carrot
The key to reducing readmission rates? Patient engagement

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