Infection prevention in OB-GYN: 8 takeaways on physician practices

Many infection prevention protocols focus on the operating room or in intensive care units. To focus on another area of medicine, a study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology explored infection prevention practices in an academic OB-GYN center.

The authors of the study administered an anonymous survey to 32 OB-GYN center physicians, surgeons and staff to get a pulse of how clinicians feel about infection prevention practices in their specialty. Highlighted below are eight takeaways from the survey.

1. Half of the respondents said universal gloving for patient care is unnecessary, while 16 percent said they were unsure.

2. Interference with physician-patient relationships was cited as the biggest barrier to universal gloving implementation by 14 respondents (44 percent).

3. Opinions about requiring gloves for breast exams was evenly divided with 50 percent for and 50 percent against the policy.

4. Nearly half (44 percent) of respondents indicated they were unsure whether universal methicillin-resistant or -sensitive Staphylococcus aureus screening or decolonization would be beneficial for OB-GYN procedures.

5. Although feelings about MRSA screening varied, there was slightly more consensus regarding preparation for surgeries. Eighty-one percent agreed chlorhexidine is best for abdominal surgical sites and 69 percent said betadine is best for prepping vaginal surgical sites.

7. Regarding hospital apparel, 47 percent of clinicians never wore home-laundered scrubs for operating room or labor and delivery procedures while 38 percent always, or nearly always, wore home-laundered scrubs.

8. OB-GYN staff were more likely to wash their scrubs at home and don cloth scrub caps than the OB-GYN surgeons surveyed.

"We discovered a variety of practices and beliefs regarding infection prevention measures at our institution," the authors concluded. "Our study raises questions about how to best address knowledge and practice gaps for infection prevention best practices."



More articles on infection control:
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White House honors Cherokee Nation physician for commitment to fighting hepatitis C

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