Communication interventions to improve adherence to infection control precautions

A randomised crossover trial

Mei Sing Ong*, Farah Magrabi, Jeffrey Post, Sarah Morris, Johanna Westbrook, Wayne Wobcke, Ross Calcroft, Enrico Coiera

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background: Ineffective communication of infection control requirements during transitions of care is a potential cause of non-compliance with infection control precautions by healthcare personnel. In this study, interventions to enhance communication during inpatient transfers between wards and radiology were implemented, in the attempt to improve adherence to precautions during transfers. Methods: Two interventions were implemented, comprising (i) a pre-transfer checklist used by radiology porters to confirm a patient's infectious status; (ii) a coloured cue to highlight written infectious status information in the transfer form. The effectiveness of the interventions in promoting adherence to standard precautions by radiology porters when transporting infectious patients was evaluated using a randomised crossover trial at a teaching hospital in Australia. Results: 300 transfers were observed over a period of 4 months. Compliance with infection control precautions in the intervention groups was significantly improved relative to the control group (p < 0.01). Adherence rate in the control group was 38%. Applying the coloured cue resulted in a compliance rate of 73%. The pre-transfer checklist intervention achieved a comparable compliance rate of 71%. When both interventions were applied, a compliance rate of 74% was attained. Acceptability of the coloured cue was high, but adherence to the checklist was low (40%). Conclusions: Simple measures to enhance communication through the provision of a checklist and the use a coloured cue brought about significant improvement in compliance with infection control precautions by transport personnel during inpatient transfers. The study underscores the importance of effective communication in ensuring compliance with infection control precautions during transitions of care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number72
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes

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Copyright the Author(s) 2013. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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