Health-Care Associated Infections Definition

Literature Review

The problem of healthcare associated infections (HAIs) has been affecting the U.S. healthcare setting for a long time. Due to the increased vulnerability of inpatients and the presence of risk factors in the hospital setting, including the ones associated with invasive devices, inpatients are exposed to HAIs (Weiner et al., 2016).

However, the vast variety in the range of factors that may be represented in a setting of a particular facility predisposes one to analyze the variables that have a specifically strong influence on the emergence of HAIs. Due to the lack of a coherent set of instructions for nurses to follow in a range of healthcare facilities, as well as a drop in the nurse-to-patient ratio, the levels of HAIs as a direct result of medical errors have been rather high in the contemporary healthcare setting.

Low rates of the nurse-to-patient ratio can be seen as the key factor defining the development of HAIs in hospital patients. With an increase in the number of people whose needs have to be met, a nurse may fail to deliver the required assistance within the set deadline, thus causing an increase in the probability of a medical error and the following HAIs development (Percival, Suleman, Vuotto, & Donelli, 2015).

The lack of opportunities for nurse education and the introduction of tools for improving the quality of nurses’ services should also be recognized as important factor in the aggravation of the problem (Cassini et al., 2016). Another source of concern stems from the absence of rigid standards for nurses in the hospital setting. As a result, nurses tend to have time management issues, which leads to reducing the amount of time that has to be spent on preventing HAIs (Sickbert-Bennett et al., 2016).

When combined, the factors described above have a vastly negative effect on patients’ well-being in the hospital environment, leading to a rise in the probability of an HAI development. Therefore, introducing tools for managing the quality of nursing services is critical to the prevention of HAIs in hospital patients (Weiner et al., 2016). Specifically, electronic devices for determining the cleanliness of instruments, an improved revealing framework, and complementary preparation time for medical attendants will need to be studied as possible solutions to the described issue.

Methodology

Research Method

The current study is aimed primarily at studying the factors that affect the development of HAIs in the hospital setting. Since there is no need to quantify the research outcomes, the qualitative research method will be utilized to explore the nature of the issue. The design method will help to study the numerous connections between the research variables and understand how they correlate. As a result, an insight into the nature of HAIs as a phenomenon and the factors that lead to its emergence in the hospital setting will be possible. Moreover, with the use of the qualitative research method, one will locate behavior patterns in nurses’ responses to the threat of HAI, thus leading to the design of a corresponding preventive measure.

Research Design

To analyze the problem of HAI in the hospital setting and the connection between HAIs and current nursing issues, one will need a case study. The proposed framework will allow observing the described phenomenon closely and explore the changes that occur within the nursing setting under the influence of the factors listed above. Combined with observations, the application of a case study will reveal the problem of the present-day nursing environment and help to understand why HAIs occur despite numerous measures used to prevent them from taking place. Furthermore, the integration of the techniques related to a case study will allow testing the proposed solutions and introducing positive change to the target setting.

Sampling Strategy

Since the use of the case study implies restricting the range of participants to a particular healthcare setting, the application of a random sampling technique will be needed. The use of purposeful sampling is recommended in the specified context since it will allow gathering the information related directly to the question that the study seeks to answer. Arguably, the integration of the purposeful sampling technique into the research design will introduce certain biases to the study; namely, the credibility of the data may be questioned due to the uneven distribution of the information (Brewster, Tarrant, & Dixon-Woods, 2016). Nevertheless, by using the principles of objectivity in observations and data analysis, one will be able to manage the specified issue.

Analysis Tools

To locate the answers to the research question, one will require the technique of the content analysis. Thus, key themes will be identified during the research, and relevant findings will be located. Moreover, the content analysis will provide an insight into the problem of HAIs in the nursing setting and provide the results that will inform the future framework of HAIs prevention and management. Therefore, the use of the content analysis as the platform for scrutinizing the research findings should be seen as an important addition to the research methodology.

References

Brewster, L., Tarrant, C., & Dixon-Woods, M. (2016). Qualitative study of views and experiences of performance management for healthcare-associated infections. Journal of Hospital Infection, 94(1), 41-47. Web.

Cassini, A., Plachouras, D., Eckmanns, T., Sin, M. A., Blank, H. P., Ducomble, T.,… Suetens, C. (2016). Burden of six healthcare-associated infections on European population health: Estimating incidence-based disability-adjusted life years through a population prevalence-based modelling study. PLoS Medicine, 13(10), e1002150. Web.

Percival, S. L., Suleman, L., Vuotto, C., & Donelli, G. (2015). Healthcare-associated infections, medical devices and biofilms: Risk, tolerance and control. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 64(4), 323-334. Web.

Sickbert-Bennett, E. E., DiBiase, L. M., Willis, T. M. S., Wolak, E. S., Weber, D. J., & Rutala, W. A. (2016). Reduction of healthcare-associated infections by exceeding high compliance with hand hygiene practices. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 22(9), 1628-1630. Web.

Weiner, L. M., Webb, A. K., Limbago, B., Dudeck, M. A., Patel, J., Kallen, A. J.,… Sievert, D. M. (2016). Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens associated with healthcare-associated infections: Summary of data reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011–2014. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 37(11), 1288-1301. Web.

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