Hospital staff don't always use infection prevention gear correctly, study finds

Megan Knowles - Print  | 

Although hospitals supply staff with protective equipment to prevent infection spread, this gear is often used in the wrong way, a study in JAMA Internal Medicine found.

To identify slipups with protective equipment, the research team observed inside and outside patient rooms in clinical units of two hospitals from March 2016 to November 2016. Mistakes included touching the face using contaminated gloves or gowns or entering a sick patient's room without protective equipment.

The research team conducted a total of 325 room observations at the two sites. Of the 325 situations, the researchers recorded 283 failures in protective equipment use, including 102 violations of safe operating practices, 144 process or procedural mistakes and 37 slips, or failures of execution. 

The high number of failures point to the need for a range of hospital strategies to reduce the risk of disease transmission during care, the researchers said.

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