Assume you are recently hired as the department manager for the surgical unit at a 300-bed acute care hospital. There has been an ongoing problem with hospital-acquired infections in the surgical unit. The hospital does not get paid for treating these infections and it is extremely costly. As a result, the prior manager was terminated. Describe your approach from both an operations and quality perspective in addressing the problem. What would you do first? What tactics would you use? Who would you get involved? Develop critical thinking around the urgent problem.
Be sure to cite reliable sources to support your response.
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Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are a critical problem for healthcare facilities worldwide. These infections pose a significant threat to patient safety and can lead to increased healthcare costs, morbidity, and mortality. As a manager of the surgical unit at a 300-bed acute care hospital, it is essential to address the issue of HAIs from both an operations and quality perspective. This essay will describe my approach to addressing the problem, the tactics I would use, who I would involve, and develop critical thinking around this urgent issue.
Approach to addressing the problem:
The first step in addressing the problem of HAIs in the surgical unit is to conduct an analysis of the root cause of the problem. This analysis will help identify the factors contributing to the spread of infections and provide a basis for developing an appropriate response plan. From an operations perspective, I would implement daily rounds to observe staff compliance with infection control procedures and identify areas needing improvement. I would also review the hospital facility’s design and infrastructure to identify any weaknesses that may contribute to the spread of infection. A quality perspective would involve reviewing current policies and procedures for infection control and identifying gaps in compliance.
Tactics to use:
One of the main tactics I would use to address the problem of HAIs in the surgical unit is to improve staff compliance with infection prevention strategies. This would involve providing regular education and training sessions to the surgical staff on proper hand hygiene, disinfection, and sterilization procedures. I would also implement the use of technology, such as electronic monitoring systems, to track compliance and quickly identify non-compliance events. Another tactic would involve conducting regular audits of the hospital’s environment to identify possible sources of infection, such as equipment, linens, and cleaning procedures.
Who to involve:
Collaboration is key to addressing the problem of HAIs in the surgical unit. I would involve various hospital staff, such as nurses, infection control practitioners, and environmental services, to work together to develop and implement a comprehensive prevention plan. I would also consult with external experts in infection prevention to provide guidance and insight into best practices and new strategies for preventing infections.
Critical thinking is essential to addressing the problem of HAIs and developing effective prevention plans. One critical thinking approach to consider is systems thinking, which involves understanding the complex interrelationships between different factors that contribute to the spread of infection. Another approach is risk assessment, which involves identifying potential sources of infection and evaluating their likelihood and impact. Additionally, a continuous quality improvement (CQI) approach involves a systematic and ongoing process of monitoring, planning and implementing changes based on data to improve the quality of care provided to patients.
In conclusion, the problem of HAIs in the surgical unit is a critical issue that requires both an operational and quality perspective. My approach would involve conducting an analysis of the root cause, implementing tactics to improve staff compliance and conducting regular audits, and involving various hospital staff and external experts to develop and implement a comprehensive prevention plan. Critical thinking approaches such as systems thinking, risk assessment, and CQI would also be used to ensure continuous improvement in addressing the issue of HAIs.
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