This International Infection Prevention and Control Week (13–19 October 2019), the Health Quality & Safety Commission is encouraging hospital staff and senior leaders in infection prevention and control (IPC) to take part in walk rounds.
The Commission has published a toolkit and implementation guide to support district health boards (DHBs) to introduce IPC walk rounds because of their many benefits.
The toolkit and guide are designed to help hospital staff plan and engage executive and senior leaders in IPC walk rounds, capture issues and suggestions, and develop and implement improvements.
Healthcare associated infections, especially those caused by antimicrobial resistant pathogens, are a significant and growing issue globally. Infections cause unnecessary suffering to patients and their families and whānau and are a significant cost to DHBs and the health sector.
The purpose of IPC walk rounds is to improve health care outcomes through the identification, prevention and mitigation of patient and staff harm. The informal discussions that occur during rounds highlight opportunities and solutions and, ultimately, create a culture where IPC is a priority.
Staff are encouraged to highlight issues or identify where potential improvements in practice could be implemented. The information gathered can identify where to allocate resources for improvement. The aim is for issues to be dealt with at a local level with support from the senior leadership team.
‘Evidence shows that ‘management by walking around’ is effective for engaging staff to get first-hand feedback on problems and obstacles, required resources and help implement organisational change,’ says Nikki Grae, senior advisor for the Commission’s IPC programme.
‘We hope that the public and private hospital sector will use the toolkit to connect frontline staff with senior leaders.’
More information about the IPC walk rounds toolkit and implement guide can be found on the Commission website.