By what are all actions and procedures within nursing and the healthcare profession are supported?
Within nursing and the healthcare profession, all actions and procedures are supported by evidenced based practice and research. Evidenced based practice is the best research available, integrated with the clinical expertise and patient values which facilitate the clinical decision making for patients. Nurses and health care professionals are currently working in an ever-changing setting; these changes include improvements to government and local policies, which have an impact on the person-centred nursing care that professionals deliver. In the Nursing Midwifery Council Code, it suggests that nurses should deliver care on the basis of the best evidence and practice that is available. It allows best practice protocols, showing an improvement to patient outcomes, with an ever-decreasing mortality rate. Evidenced based practice in relation to this local policy is supported by The Health and Social Care Act 2008 this suggests that procedures within policies should be based on evidence based guidelines.
The rationale for this policy is due to the relevance to current practice and the implications on person-centred care. The local hand hygiene policy has utilised, WHO guidelines suggesting that hand hygiene is one of the most single important procedures within the prevention of health care associated infection. However, failure to understand that if hand hygiene is not practised effectively it could have an enormous impact on person-centred care, putting patients at a huge risk, resulting in health care associated infections such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA), Clostridium Difficile and the Norovirus. This impact results in prolonged stays in hospital, a risk of resistance to microorganisms to antimicrobials, a financial burden to the NHS, excessive costs for patients and their families whilst in hospital, a long-term disability and possibly the risk of excess preventable deaths. This is supported by research suggesting that, health care associated infections resulted in sixteen million additional days in hospital not only that but, significant physical, psychological and social costs to the patients and their relatives. In light of the evidence presented, it is essential that this policy is followed by all members of staff working within the local trust and they have the correct information and resources available to ensure hand hygiene is followed appropriately.