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Majority feel ‘unprepared’ for winter season infection prevention

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Over 63 per cent of healthcare professionals working in infection prevention and control feel ‘unprepared’ for winter season, new findings have revealed.

Perfect Ward, a specialist provider of digital quality improvement and safety solutions, recently ran an Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) poll, with over 120 attendees taking part.

Participants in the webinar, which explored how to apply key lessons learnt from the pandemic to create an effective IPC strategy for this coming winter and the future, were asked what methods they currently use to conduct IPC audits, the efficacy of those audits in preventing infection and about staff training.

They were also invited to comment on their organisation’s preparedness for the additional pressures posed by influenza, norovirus and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) as the sector approaches the traditionally challenging winter season.

The poll revealed that:

  • Respondents were split almost equally when it comes to the effectiveness of their current IPC audits to prevent infection.  Encouragingly, the majority (55.2 per cent) thought they were effective, although a high percentage (44.8 per cent) of respondents believed otherwise
  • When asked if they feel prepared for winter from an IPC perspective, the results are cause for concern with the majority of respondents (63.2 per cent) saying they feel unprepared compared with 36.8 per cent who do feel prepared
  • Staff training is more evenly split with 57.6 per cent of respondents claiming to be confident their staff have received sufficient training in IPC followed closely behind by 42.4 per cent who believe their IPC training is lacking
  • Although many of the respondents currently use Perfect Ward’s electronic solution to conduct their IPC audits (44.6 per cent), over one third (37.5 per cent combined) still rely on ‘pen, paper and spreadsheets’ or ‘other’ methods for auditing while the remaining 17.9 per cent of respondents use a web-based solution.

Alan Birch, chief commercial officer at Perfect Ward, said: “The health and social care sectors have risen to the challenges of the pandemic, although the results of our poll indicate the majority of organisations do not feel prepared to address the additional challenges this winter brings.

“This is a worrying trend that is likely to exacerbate already heightened levels of staff stress and fatigue and potentially put the health of staff and patients at risk. In a fast-moving, constantly changing environment, our digital quality improvement solution provides robust support needed by the frontline. While giving senior managers the hard evidence and confidence they need to drive continual improvements to patient and staff safety.”

To learn from the experts and hear real-life success stories about how to build an effective IPC strategy, watch Perfect Ward’s latest webinar on demand.

To read Perfect Ward’s latest blog entitled “7 effective ways to transform your IPC strategy” or for more information on the company’s products and services, visit www.perfectward.com

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