Description of the Issue
A surgical site infection occurs in the part of the body where the surgery took place. Surgical site infections are prevalent at the workplace. Surgical sites need to be treated with care to prevent any chances of infections. The infection can affect the skin, or it can go deeper into the tissues. Most people who undergo surgery have a 1% to 3% chance of getting a surgical site infection (John Hopkins Medicine, n.d). This is a common issue at the workplace, and the health care providers must be ready to come up with better ways of dealing with surgical sites. Some of the infections lead to other diseases and conditions. Following this, unless the surgical site is treated with the utmost care, there are higher chances of the patient worsening. The essay will explore how staffing and staff management will address the issue of surgical site infections.
Systems that deal with Surgical Site Infections and Gaps
Various systems have been set up to help reduce the high rates of surgical site infections. One of the systems that have been set up is ensuring that the wound is handled with care. According to Reichman and Greenberg (2009), before the surgery, the site is cleaned with an antiseptic solution to kill any germs that might enter the wound during the cutting. Besides, the surgeons clean their hands with antiseptic soap to prevent germs transmitted to the wound during the surgery. The surgical staff must wear sterilized clothes and drapes, and the patient’s body must be covered with sterile sheets and drapes. After the surgery, the wound must be covered well with a sterile dressing to prevent any form of infection (Fairview, 2020). However, mistakes always happen, and sometimes the wound ends up being infected. Wound care needs a lot of effort from both the patient and the healthcare worker. If the wound is not treated well by the staff, then infections are bound to occur.
Principles of clinical governance outline the need for staffing and staff management (NHS Foundation Trust, n.d.). If there is no proper staff mangemnt, then mistakes will occur. The wound care system gap is as a result of lack of well-trained and experienced clinical staff. Some staff who take care of the wound are trainees, and they might commit mistakes when taking care of the wound. Another gap is the lack of enough healthcare workers. Sometimes, too many patients need care and attention; hence, the healthcare workers get overwhelmed and forget to treat the wound or take all the precautionary measures. As a result, the wound gets infected, resulting in surgical site infections. Patients must be taken good care of before, during, and after the surgery. If the staff are not readily available due to scarcity of workers, then the chances of the wound getting infected are high.
Lack of resources in the workplace is another significant gap that has made surgical site infections very prone. The resources include medication given to the patients before, during, and after the surgery. Also, the equipment used to clean the wound is sometimes scarce, forcing the health care workers to avoid taking all the preventive measures. Strong antibiotics should be administered to the patient after the surgery. However, sometimes the antibiotics are not available, and if they are, they are not enough for all the patients. The patients, therefore, end up taking an under dose, which increases the chances of the patient getting infections.
Dealing with surgical sites infections can be uncomplicated if all the proposed procedures are followed. One of the solutions is ensuring that all the staff who deal with patients who have gone through any form of surgery are qualified. As a result, such personnel as trainees should not be allowed to deal with surgical wounds independently. According to Frykberg and Banks (2015), proper wound care is facilitated by employing a thorough patient and wound assessment to avoid errors. If the patient is assessed by unqualified staff, mistakes, hence infections, are high. Trainees can be taken through the process by an experienced health care worker, but they should not be assigned the entire task of assessing and taking care of the wound alone. The principles of clinical governance state that risk management should be enhanced to prevent patients from getting any risks (NHS Foundation Trust, n.d.). A qualified health worker has more experience and will try to avoid any risk of surgical site infections.
Surgical site infection can be prevented if the proper medication is administered to the patients. According to Institute for Healthcare Improvement (2021), 40%-60% of surgical site infections can be prevented through prophylactic antibiotics. The antibiotics must be used on time, and the correct dosage should be given. The hospital administration must ensure that the antibiotics are readily available for all the patients. This can be done by getting donors and seeking assistance from the government. Proper education, training, and continuous professional development should be made according to clinical governance (NHS Foundation Trust, n.d.). This ensures that all the workers know their roles and how to take care of the surgical sites. As a result, the high rates of infections will reduce, leading to better patient care.
Barriers and Enablers
The barrier to the effective use of prophylactic antibiotics is financing. The government does not give enough funds that will help in purchasing the required amount of prophylactic antibiotics. As a result, some patients have an under dose, while others do not get the medication at all. The enabler to this barrier is encouraging the hospital to have their projects that generate money. The money can be used to purchase the prophylactic antibiotics and other medications needed for wound care. Besides, some staff mismanage the available resources by taking the antibiotics to their private clinic. Following this, the management should be changed, and better staff who understand the need for good patient care should be employed. Proper assessment must be done for all the staffs to determine those that do not behave ethically.
The barrier to unqualified healthcare providers is the lack of qualified staff. As a result, it becomes hard for qualified staff to deal with all the patients. The unqualified workers make mistakes since they do not have enough experience dealing with the wound and the patient. The enabler is to ensure that the hospital does not take in more patients than it can handle. There is no need to take in a patient, yet they will not be taken care of effectively. Also, the hospital can increase the number of qualified personnel by employing more healthcare workers. Lack of resources leads to taking in qualified personnel who are volunteers. Dealing with volunteers is better since it is not a must they get [aid provided they get the basic things.
Project Plan Evaluation
To ensure that the project is practical, the staff must know about the changes that occur at the workplace. All the workers and stakeholders must understand what the desired outcomes for the project are. Besides, all the required resources must be availed to ensure no shortcomings during implementation and evaluations. The effects will be measured by analyzing the number of surgical site infections monthly (MYMG Team, 2011). If the number of infections keeps reducing, then the plan will be effective. However, if the number of infections does not reduce, then the plan can be re-designed for the sake of evidence-based care and effectiveness according to clinical governance. Proper evaluation will therefore be done so that all the measures are fully implemented.
In conclusion, although surgical site infections are high at the workplace, there is a high chance of reducing infections. It will be easier to deal with this issue if all the described measures are implemented according to the CG framework. If the staff employed are qualified and enough for all the patients, the high rates of surgical sites infections will reduce. Patient care should always be a priority, which can be achieved by reducing surgical site infections.
Fairview. (2020). Preventing Surgical Site Infections. Retrieved August 12, 2021, from https://www.fairview.org/patient-education/89221
Frykberg, R. G., & Banks, J. (2015). Challenges in the Treatment of Chronic Wounds. Advances in Wound Care, 4(9), 560-582. https://doi.org/ 10.1089/wound.2015.0635
Institute for Healthcare Improvement. (2021). Changes to Prevent Surgical Site Infection | IHI – Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Improving Health and Health Care Worldwide | IHI – Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Retrieved August 12, 2021, from https://www.ihi.org/resources/Pages/Changes/ChangestoPreventSurgicalSiteInfection.aspx
John Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Surgical Site Infections. Johns Hopkins Medicine, based in Baltimore, Maryland. Retrieved August 12, 2021, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/surgical-site-infections
MYMG Team. (2011, December 28). Project Evaluation Planning: The General Guidelines. Project Management Guides, Best Practices, Lessons Learned, PM101. Retrieved August 12, 2021, from https://mymanagementguide.com/project-evaluation-planning-the-general-guidelines/
NHS Foundation Trust. (n.d.). The Main Components of Clinical Governance. University Hospitals Birmingham, NHS Foundation Trust. Retrieved August 12, 2021, from https://www.uhb.nhs.uk/clinical-governance-components.htm
Reichman, D. E., & Greenberg, J. A. (2009). Reducing Surgical Site Infections: A Reviewhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2812878/. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2(4), 212-221. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2812878/