Evaluation of use of an audit tool for infection risk reduction in a community based sexual health centre

Evaluation of use of an audit tool for infection risk reduction in a

community based sexual health centre

M. Hay, U. Bankowska

The Sandyford Initiative, Glasgow, UK

Introduction: In recent years there has been an increase in the

concern about the risks to health from receiving treatment and care. Infection

Control is an important issue for NHSScotland both in terms of safety and

wellbeing of patients and of the efficiency and effectiveness of the service.

Aim: To evaluate the use of an audit tool to minimise infection risk

in a community clinic setting. The Sandyford Initiative is a community clinic

specialising in sexual and reproductive health. It is part of the Greater

Glasgow Primary Care Trust.

Method: As part of the process of ensuring that standards for

healthcare associated infection (HAI) are met the audit tool has been developed

by the primary care trust infection control nurses. The audit tool is a document

which defines acceptable standards for a managed environment which mimises the

risk of infection to patients and staff. The infection control audit tool has

been used in Sandyford since May 2003.All clinical areas, toilets and staff

facilities have been audited.

Results: The area where most improvement can be demonstrated is in the

handwashing facilities section. ‘Handwashing facilities’ incorporates the

appropriateness of fixtures, soap and solution dispensers, handwashing practice

and the condition of immediate areas. A program for ongoing audit has been

arranged in response to the findings and subsequent scoring in each area. This

section is audited monthly, irrespective of the previous score. The initial

score was 60%. This improved to 100% when the guidelines in the standard

statement were followed. Raising awareness of hand hygiene practice through

posters and training sessions has improved practice.

Conclusion: Improvement in control of infection has been demonstrated.

To date more improvement in standards is seen in clinical practice than in

cleaning standards. The audit is now ongoing and areas where improvement in

cleanliness is required will be audited frequently until the standards are being


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