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Nurse caring for man in hospital

Toolkit to implement chlorhexidine gluconate bathing treatments to prevent healthcare-associated infections now available

Nurse Caring for Man in HospitalHealthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are an issue of public health importance, as approximately 722,000 people are afflicted by an HAI every year (1 in 25 hospitalized patients) and 75,000 people with HAIs die. Daily bathing treatments with chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) for hospitalized patients is one evidence-based intervention targeting HAIs. However, it is often challenging to implement these daily bathing treatments widely across an organization.

To address this need, researchers from the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health – Department of Medicine have created a new toolkit. Chlorhexidine Bathing Treatments: A Toolkit to Guide Implementation contains a comprehensive set of modifiable resources that provide step-by-step guidance to roll out CHG bathing treatments at your organization.

This toolkit was developed based on two implementation studies: Implementation of Chlorhexidine Bathing to Reduce HAIs (the ICARE study), funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Human-factors Engineering to Prevent Resistant Organisms (the HERO study) funded by the Veterans Health Administration. Both of these studies evaluated implementation of CHG bathing treatments in multiple non-ICU acute care settings using a human factors model called the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS).

The toolkit contains the scientific rationale behind CHG bathing treatments, tools to assess organizational readiness, instructions for implementing CHG bathing treatments, and steps for monitoring and obtaining feedback. There is also a cost consideration calculator, monitoring and feedback templates, and educational materials for staff. The toolkit is customizable, which allows you to easily adapt the content for use in your organization.

The CHG bathing toolkit was designed specifically for infection prevention professionals, nursing and other allied health professionals, and researchers interested in general implementation science.

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