New tool creates transparency in infection control quality, antimicrobial use

A study published in Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control examined the effectiveness of a new tool the Infection Risk Scan, which measures the quality of infection control and antimicrobial use.

The Infection Risk Scan, or IRIS, includes a set of objective reproducible measurements, such as:

• Hand hygiene compliance
• Environmental contamination using adenosine triphosphate measurements
• Prevalence of resistant microorganisms by active screening
• Availability of infection control preconditions
• Personal hygiene of healthcare workers
• Appropriate use of indwelling medical devices
• Appropriate use of antimicrobials

The researchers used the tool and visualized the results in a spider plot using traffic light colors.

The study shows IRIS provided ward-specific results, which could be used to create targeted quality improvement programs. The programs grew hand hygiene compliance from 43 percent to 66 percent. Additionally, adenosine triphosphate levels reduced significantly.

"The bundle approach and visualization of the IRIS makes it a useful infection prevention tool providing standardization and transparency," study authors concluded. "Targeted interventions can be started based on the results of the improvement plot and repeated IRIS can show the effect of interventions."

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