Potential of Innovations in Hygiene Management: A Managerial Perspective

Assessment of the current situation is crucial before introducing innovative infection prevention measures. According to the literature, hospital managers should take on the role of “power promoters” in adopting infection prevention measures due to their position and decision-making authority. However, there is no empirical evidence for whether or not this assumption is valid. This paper by Hutzschenreuter, et al. (2019) reports German hospital managers’ perceptions of current challenges in infection prevention and control and innovative prevention measures. The researchers analyzed the managerial promoters and barriers of adopting innovations in order to derive recommendations for improving the innovation process in hospitals using the novel AHOI-approach to actively involve patients and their relatives in anti-infection measures.

All 3,877 medical, nursing and administrative managers of German hospitals were invited to participate in an online survey. The first set of questions intended to determine their perception of problems of hygiene management in their institution and in particular in the interaction with patients and their relatives. The second set of questions was asked to identify potential challenges and barriers to combating nosocomial infections and involving patients and their relatives in infection prevention.

Two hundred six managers from German hospitals participated in the survey. Transmission of pathogens was seen as the main problem in the inpatient area, especially in acute-care hospitals and stationary geriatric care. Barriers to the implementation of novel infection prevention concepts were primarily perceived as lack of time and refinancing by health insurance providers. The surveyed hospital managers assessed that the active involvement of patients and their relatives in infection prevention could strengthen the infection prevention of their institution.

The researchers conclude that hospital managers are open to innovative hygiene interventions. In particular, they welcome the active involvement of patients and their relatives in infection prevention. Therefore, financial and institutional barriers, such as insufficient funding of hygiene management, must be overcome.

Reference: Hutzschenreuter L, et al. Potential of innovations in hygiene management – a managerial perspective. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control. 2019;8:100