HA 425 Operational Analysis and Quality Improvement
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A. 1847: Physician and scientist, Ignaz Semmelweis discovers that maternal mortality rates were mostly attributable to puerperal fever.
1. After observing doctors who went from performing the autopsy room to delivery room had a bad odor on their hands even after washing them with water and soap he deduced that particles from cadavers were being transmitted via doctor’s hands and caused puerperal fever.
2. Recommendation of hand scrubbing with chlorinated lime solution before being in contact with any patient is made by Semmelweis. Mortality rate drops from 16% to 3% and remains low. (WHO, 2009)
II. 1961: U.S. Public Health Services produces film that trained health-care workers on proper handwashing techniques. (Boyce & Pittet, n.d.)
A. Use of antiseptic agent was believed to not be as effective as handwashing and was only recommended on emergencies.
III. 1975 and 1985: First national hand hygiene guidelines published by the CDC.
A. Guidelines recommended to wash hands with non-antimicrobial soap between majority of patients and with antimicrobial soap after invasive procedures. (Boyce & Pittet, n.d.)
IV. 1995-1996: CDC/HICPAC recommend use of antimicrobial soap or waterless antiseptic for cleaning hands after being in contact with patients with multidrug-resistant pathogens. (WHO, 2009)
V. 2002: HICPAC guidelines implemented.
A. Guidelines define alcohol-based hand cleanse as standard care.
VI. 2020: HICPAC recommendations for current health care workers.
A. Health care workers should wash hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand rub immediately before and after being in contact with any patient.
B. Alcohol-based hand rub should be used preferably over soap and water. (CDC, 2020)
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