How to write a nursing essay on Healthcare Acquired Infections (Answered)

How to write a nursing essay on Healthcare Acquired Infections (Answered)

Project Purpose Statement

The purpose of this project is to identify the effectiveness of using curos caps compared to scrubbing the ports in preventing central line-induced bloodstream infections. Completion of this project will inform healthcare providers of the most effective means of preventing healthcare-associated infections like CLABSI using evidence-based practices.

Background and Significance

Healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) represent infections that patients get during their hospital stay. These infections have a significant impact on mortality and morbidity rates and occur both in adult and pediatric care settings. No matter where the patient is, HCAIs do happen and are preventable. It is well-known that these infections enter the body through wounds, through the lungs via inhalation, or when using devices like catheters (Haque et al., 2018). As mentioned in the previous discussion, HCAIs like CLABSIs, CAUTIs, and VAP lead to rising healthcare costs, overuse of resources, prolonged hospitalization, and increased readmission rates. Because of these threats to the health of patients, many hospitals and healthcare facilities have made the prevention of HCAIs a top priority.

The challenge of HCAIs affects many facilities in the US and the rest of the world. In the US, recent data shows that nearly 1.7 million hospitalized patients acquire HCAIs with almost one in 17 dying following infection (Haque et al., 2018). This trend affects less developed countries even more whereby one in 10 hospitalized patients acquire HCAIs. The majority of affected patients are those admitted to the intensive care units because of frequent contact with healthcare providers and the use of invasive devices. Data from international organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) show around 0.5 million episodes of HCAIs are diagnosed yearly in ICUs alone (Haque et al., 2018). A study conducted in Singapore shows that about 11.9% of all hospitalized patients acquire preventable infections with common organisms like clostridium and Klebsiella contributing to most of the infections.

Preventing HCAIs requires healthcare providers to understand the sources of infection and the mechanism of transmission. Research establishes that unhealthy hospital environments and improper use of invasive devices contribute to more than 99% of HCAIs (Kopsidas et al., 2021). Risk factors like poor hygiene, poor medical waste control, and the use of invasive devices should be minimized if HCAIs were to be prevented. The transmission of HCAIs is another area of importance when dealing with preventing central line-associated infections. Contaminated utensils, medical devices, hospital beds, and food form the common source of microbes in hospitals (Buetti et al., 2022). Medical staff plays a crucial role in the transmission of infections because they are in frequent contact with patients. Practices like poor hand hygiene, improper handling of equipment, and poor management of medical waste all contribute to HCAIs. Overall, following standard precautions when caring for patients is the primary measure through which HCAIs can be eradicated.

Healthcare-associated infections can occur in any healthcare setting, but it is possible to reduce the rate by preventing the spread of microorganisms. Central-line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) are one of the common HCAIs observed in the majority of hospitals, especially in the ICUs. It is well-established that the catheter tube is the only route for microorganisms to enter the patient’s body and can quickly progress within 48 hrs (Buetti et al., 2022). Although the extraluminal route can lead to the development of CLABSI, the intraluminal route is the main source of infection. Studies demonstrate that these infections can cause cancers and neurodegenerative diseases in hospitalized patients while affected children experience problems with growth and development (Haque et al., 2018). The prevention of these infections can have positive effects on the life of children and adults because they are closely associated with quality of life outcomes.

Reliable and safe venous access is among the key interventions for preventing central venous catheter-associated infections. The proposed project deals with the prevention of HCAIs, specifically CLABSIs using curos caps and comparing the outcomes to scrubbing the hub. As mentioned earlier, the intraluminal route is the most common source of entry of microbes into patients. To prevent its contamination, standard guidelines require the use of disinfectants to scrub the hub before using the catheter. Despite the use of this strategy, HCAIs are still frequent and cause significant health problems to patients in the ICU and other settings. A newer approach to the prevention of HCAIs involves the use of curos caps. The plastic caps contain a disinfectant, mostly 70% isopropyl alcohol (IPA) or chlorhexidine gluconate, and provide frequent disinfection of the catheter access points (Gillis et al., 2022). As long as the caps are in place, there is evidence that microbes will not enter the catheter lumen for some days.

Healthcare innovation represents the use of ideas, products, or services that have clear benefits compared to current practices. Today, healthcare innovation follows the route of evidence-based practice used to improve patient outcomes and overall organizational performance. This project is based on the idea of innovation whereby a new practice is to be implemented to decrease the rate of HCAIs in the facility. Currently, the hospital practice for preventing CLABSI involves the use of the “Scrubbing-the-hub” approach. When using the catheters, the hub is scrubbed with a disinfectant wipe and subsequently dried before accessing the catheter lumen (Buetti et al., 2022). The new strategy will involve the use of curos caps as the antiseptic barrier. This approach will ensure that the catheter access is secured and made free from contact after use. Additionally, this approach is likely to reduce the length of scrubbing and minimize the entry of microbes because of the barrier provided.

Preventing healthcare-associated infections is a goal for all healthcare organizations today. This project will have a potential impact on the prevention of HCAIs like CLABSI which will also impact important aspects of patient care. Firstly, this project will provide the organization with an evidence-based approach to improving care for patients. Secondly, the implementation of this project will potentially reduce the number of HCAIs and provide healthcare providers with a chance to improve patient outcomes. Of particular importance is the impact of this project on the costs associated with HCAIs. For instance, the US healthcare system spends approximately $4.5 billion to $5.7 billion per year in additional costs of patient care (Kopsidas et al., 2021). This project will reduce the total costs of hospitalization by minimizing infection and reducing the number of days spent in the hospital. Lastly, this project will impact patient satisfaction by keeping them free of infection and reducing hospital readmissions and prolonged hospital stays.

PICOT Formatted Clinical Project Question

In patients with intravenous (IV) or central lines (P), is the use of curos caps (I) compared to scrubbing the hubs or ports (C) more effective in preventing IV or central line-induced blood stream infections like CLABSI (O) during the length of their hospital stay (T)?


Buetti, N., Marschall, J., Drees, M., Fakih, M. G., Hadaway, L., Maragakis, L. L., … & Mermel, L. A. (2022). Strategies to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections in acute-care hospitals: 2022 Update. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology43(5), 553-569.

Gillis, V. E., van Es, M. J., Wouters, Y., & Wanten, G. J. (2022). Antiseptic barrier caps to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections: A systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Infection Control.

Haque, M., Sartelli, M., McKimm, J., & Abu Bakar, M. (2018). Health care-associated infections – an overview. Infection and Drug Resistance11, 2321–2333.

Kopsidas, I., Collins, M., & Zaoutis, T. (2021). Healthcare-associated Infections—Can we do better?. The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal40(8), e305-e309.

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