Patient Safety Policy Paper

1345 Words Mar 14th, 2012 6 Pages
Patient Safety Policy Paper
Metropolitan State University
Spring 2012

Patient safety is a primary goal for all health care workers, especially Registered Nurses who are the primary care givers for many patients. To promote safety and well-being it is important to provide the best possible care to all patients without spreading hospital acquired infections to patients that were previously free from certain diseases. Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) are a common occurrence within health care settings and can cause many complications, increasing length of stay, and could even cause death.
The goal of this paper is to provide a policy to make changes to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Mercy Hospital
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Intensify the assessment of compliance with process measures.
2. Perform hand hygiene with soap and water as the preferred method before exiting the room of a patient with CDI.
3. Place patients with diarrhea under contact precautions while C. difficile test results are pending.
4. Prolong the duration of contact precautions after the patient becomes asymptomatic until hospital discharge.
With proper implementation these strategies can help reduce infections, bioburden, and promote cleanliness within the patient’s hospital stay. These actions are crucial to implement due to patient harm and cost of infection. Each year, an estimated 215,000 cases of hospital-acquired C. difficile occur in the USA, along with 263,000 in nursing homes. The hospital-acquired infections cost $1.6 billion a year to treat and result in 9,000 deaths, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Elizabeth, date unknown). With changes in reimbursements the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will be monitoring outcomes related to patient hospitalizations and length of stay. A CDI can increase patient length of stay causing more costs to the patient, which are covered by the hospital, and cause the CMS to not provide reimbursements.
To implement this policy and procedure change will require extra efforts from the education department and patient care managers on the inpatient units within

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