The Pulse | Thursday, October 11, 2018
Shifting Team Dynamics Is a Key to Infection Prevention
Regardless of department, teamwork is essential to success within a hospital. More specifically, the intricate workings of how a GI department operates can have a large impact on how well infections are being prevented at any given time. SGNA spoke with three gastroenterology professionals from three different hospitals and health systems about if they’ve witnessed a shift in team dynamics and how infection prevention is a team effort.
John Whelan, BSN, RN: “In the past, we had developed an interdepartmental committee to address any/all reprocessing within our health system – HLD as well as sterilization. This formally brought together infection prevention, safety management, reprocessing, accreditation and clinical endoscopy areas. In recent years — coincidental to an ever-increasing international focus on reprocessing — we further identified the need to create unique system roles to formally serve as content experts and to monitor reprocessing across the health system. This has served to further emphasize and prioritize reusable device reprocessing. Critical to success — for these ongoing efforts of evaluation, coordination, standardization, consolidation and incident response — is the collaboration between all these represented areas. Each collaborating professional has certainly gained increased knowledge and respect for the important and risk-laden work of HLD and sterilization — from point-of-use, through reprocessing, to storage.”
Loralee Kelsey, BSN, RN, CGRN: “Since participating in the SGNA Champions Program, our department has had a closer relationship with the infection prevention and quality departments. We partner in a collaborative manner to review processes and ensure standards are maintained through audits and education. The staff have worked on communication and standardization, which has improved team morale. Participating in the SGNA Champions Program has raised the level of awareness and professionalism in our department and has provided a leadership opportunity for reprocessing staff.”
Karen Zervopoulos, RN, CGRN, CFER: “I believe that all healthcare facilities follow the practice that infection prevention is everyone’s responsibility. Facility management focuses on the importance of infection prevention with additional training and in-services as needed to achieve this goal.”