Improving IPs' Mindset Can Increase Compliance with Guidelines, Reduce HAIs

Jaggi et al. (2013) explain that infection prevention is a mindset and the reasons for non-compliance are related to psychological barriers, preconceived notions, cultural influences and ineffective time management rather than lack of available resources or knowledge. The researchers wanted to discover if  the power of the mind in oneself and others can be harnessed to understand the psychology of non-compliance, improve implementation of infection control practices and subsequently reduce healthcare-associted infections (HAIs ).

This study was initiated in July 2012 and lasted through December 2012. Twelve infection control team leaders were identified from each department after conducting a basic technical and psychological assessment. An advanced psychological assessment was then performed on them;aA trained psychologist was employed to impart relevant soft skill training to them, focusing on harnessing the power of the mind to effectively manage their time as also collaborate with other teams to achieve the desired result. The training involved didactic lectures as well as simulation to teach real life skills. A post assessment was conducted after training and results statistically analyzed. The compliance to infection control guidelines identified in each of their units were then correlated with the increase in their behavioral competencies.

Ten of the 12 (83.3%) showed significant improvement in all aspects of competency in infection prevention. The chief criterion included were powers of negotiation, ability to get along with peers, juniors and seniors, leadership skills, communication skills and emotional intelligence. There was a significant increase (p<0..05) in all separate parameters considered for assessment. A positive correlation was observed between the compliance to infection control guidelines and HAIs with the increase in competencies.

The researchers concluded that focusing on power of the mind and improving psychological competencies in infection preventionists can lead to a cost-effective and rational approach to increasing compliance to guidelines and reduce HAIs.

Reference: N Jaggi, P Nirwan, E Naryana and KP Kaur. Poster presentation P187 at the 2nd International Conference on Prevention and Infection Control (ICPIC 2013): Harnessing the power of the mind to reduce healthcare associated infections - a cost effective approach in low-resource settings. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 2013, 2(Suppl 1):P187 doi:10.1186/2047-2994-2-S1-P187