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  1. Driscoll, Brendan BS
  2. Evans, Darlene MSN, RN, CPHQ


OBJECTIVE: This study aims to evaluate the level of infection control (IC) practice adherence and related barriers among nursing staff at a US academic medical center. Furthermore, it surveys staff to identify interventions to improve adherence with IC practices.


BACKGROUND: Infectious disease emergencies have exposed healthcare workers to increased infection risk. This study aims to explore IC practice adherence in the tertiary hospital setting and further investigate the personal protective equipment (PPE) champion role as a method to boost adherence.


METHODS: This descriptive quality improvement study includes 2 parts: 1) A PPE champion role was piloted to support healthcare worker adherence to IC practices; and 2) a survey was disseminated to nursing staff to identify the perceptions of their own and coworkers' adherence to IC practices as well as suggestions for improvement.


RESULTS: Twenty-six percent of PPE champion observations found nursing staff nonadherent with IC practices and policies. Barriers included knowledge deficit (38%), lack of motivation (38%), time constraints (21%), and lack of supplies (3%). Two hundred sixty-four RNs and nurse technicians responded to the IC survey. Nursing staff rated their IC adherence higher than observed by their peers. Perceived barriers to adherence included the lack of supplies (53%), knowledge of proper technique (41%), time constraints (35%), and motivation (5%). Staff recommended using PPE champions (52%) and mandating supervised practice of essential skills (48%) to increase adherence.


CONCLUSIONS: Nursing staff reported barriers related to their knowledge of proper technique and suggested interventions including supervised practice of critical skills. It seems that the PPE champion role is a popular method to boost IC practice adherence that can be implemented during pandemic and nonpandemic environments at minimal cost.