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Prevention of Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAIs)
In healthcare practitioners (P), how does the compliance with hygiene procedures, i.e., hand washing and alcohol rubs, (I) can help control the dissemination of HAIs in hospitalized patients (O) compared to the non-performance of those hygiene practices (C) within the two-month period (T)?
Hospital staff largely contributes to the dissemination of infections within a setting. At the same time, recent research evidence reveals a direct link between hand hygiene and the risk of pathogens’ transmission (McLaws 7). Thus, the project brings forth the hypothesis that proper implementation of hygiene practices in accordance with national guidelines may help decrease HAI-related morbidity and mortality in patients.
Medical Errors Prevention
In nurses (P), does the implementation of a standardized shift handover protocol (I) allow improving inter-shift communication and reducing medical errors (O) compared to the implementation of regular handover techniques (C) within the two-month period (T)?
Like anyone else, healthcare practitioners prone to make mistakes, but the roots of medical errors can rest in inefficient systems and models of practice. “Standard and effective handover and information communication skills are not taught formally during nursing academic education; rather, nurses learn such skills during their daily practice and form more experienced nurses” (Malekzadeh et al. 178). By standardizing shift handover, nurses may significantly improve the communication efficiency resulting in a higher quality of care and patient satisfaction.
Shifting Models and Burnout in Nurses
In registered nurses (P), does 8-hour shift scheduling (I) results in greater productivity and job satisfaction (O) compared to 12-hour scheduling (C) within the two-month period (T)?
Recent research evidence reveals that extended shifts are associated with such adverse consequences for nurses as fatigue, stress, low job satisfaction, burnout, etc. (Griffiths et al. 976). Despite this, in many hospitals, longer working hours are being introduced (i.e., two 12-hour or 13-hour shifts per day) in order to improve staffing and cost efficiency, and reduce errors due to shift handovers (Griffiths et al. 976). It is thus essential to investigate whether shorter or longer shift schedules are associated with better care quality indicators to maximize the shifting benefits for hospitals, patients, and nurses.
In a clinical setting (P), does the implementation of a systematic patient reporting protocol aimed to collect the feedback from patients (I) contribute to the improvement of service quality (O) compared to strategies developed without such feedback (C) within the two-month period (T)?
Patients can provide essential information needed to eliminate possible flaws in care, enhance patient experiences and outcomes promptly, yet hospitals still rarely implement a standardized and systematic approach towards the collection of their feedback (Louch et al. 976). The suggested project will investigate whether self-reported patient satisfaction data can be effectively utilized in quality improvement.
In registered nurses (P), do basic communication skill training, and the use of communication materials (I) help improve the quality of patient communication in the intensive care unit (ICU) (O) compared to usual care with no communication materials (C) within the two-month period (T)?
In ICUs, patient communication is associated with particular difficulties due to the severity of hospitalized patients’ conditions. It often leads to increased stress and reduced self-efficacy in ICU staff (Happ et al. 90). It is hypothesized that the administration of the communication training can help nurses improve communication frequency, effectiveness, quality, ease resulting in better outcomes for them and their patients.
Prevention of Falls in Elderly Patients
In the geriatric population, age 65 years and older, (P), does the administration of regular screening for falls with a consequent identification of risk factors and patient education (I) leads to better results in fall prevention (O), compared to regular care (C) within the two-month period (T)?
Balance and mobility impairments associated with advancing age increase the risk of falling and injury. It is a widespread problem that can be intervened in several ways. Screening for falls is a basic and by far the most cost-efficient intervention measure (Lee et al. 38). The given project will aim to assess its effectiveness in patients at risk.
Griffiths, Peter et al. “Nurses’ Shift Length and Overtime Working in 12 European Countries: The Association with Perceived Quality of Care and Patient Safety.” Medical Care, vol. 52, no. 11, 2014, pp. 975–981.
Happ, Mary Beth et al. “Effect of a Multi-Level Intervention on Nurse—patient Communication in the Intensive Care Unit: Results of the SPEACS Trial.” Heart & Lung: The Journal of Critical Care, vol. 43, no. 2, 2014, pp. 89–98.
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Lee, Aimee et al. “Preventing Falls in the Geriatric Population.” The Permanente Journal, vol. 17, no. 4, 2013, pp. 37–39.
Louch, Gemma et al. “A Qualitative Formative Evaluation of a Patient‐Centred Patient Safety Intervention Delivered in Collaboration with Hospital Volunteers.” Health Expectations: An International Journal of Public Participation in Health Care and Health Policy, vol. 20, no. 5, 2017, pp. 1143–1153.
Malekzadeh, Javad et al. “A Standardized Shift Handover Protocol: Improving Nurses’ Safe Practice in Intensive Care Units.” Journal of Caring Sciences, vol. 2, no. 3, 2013, pp. 177–185.
McLaws, Mary-Louise. “The Relationship between Hand Hygiene and Health Care-Associated Infection: It’s Complicated.” Infection and Drug Resistance, vol. 8, 2015, pp. 7–18.