BMC health services research 2017 01 2317(1) 66 doi 10.1186/s12913-017-2021-x
Patients education is considered a valuable mean to prevent and control healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). This cross-sectional study aims to assess declared practices of healthcare workers (HCWs) regarding the delivery of information about HAIs to patients.
A 14-item multiple-choice questionnaire was designed to assess the attitudes and declared practices of HCWs (physicians, nurses and nursing assistants). Between October 2012 and October 2013, we surveyed a sample of HCWs from 4 acute hospitals in Piedmont (North-western Italy). Written information was available at three hospitals (A, B and C) and verbal information at the last one (hospital D).
We surveyed 288 HCWs (79 physicians, 124 nurses and 85 healthcare assistants). At hospital A, B and C, 128 (71.6%) HCWs declared that written information was usually delivered to any patient and 145 (66.5%) that nurses usually delivered it. Only 42 (26.3%) of them – 97.6% nurses -declared that they usually delivered written information to patients. Among all surveyed HCWs, 210 (72.9%) declared that patients also receive verbal information on HAI – mainly by nurses (70.8%) and physicians (50%) – but only 88 (29,2%) – 23.8% physician and 48.8% nurses – declared that they usually informed patients. Finally, 83 (27.7%) HCWs believed that they should decide whether or not to deliver information to patient case by case.
A formal policy requiring to deliver written information is most likely not enough to induce HCWs to better inform patients about HAIs. Health Trusts might introduce more target actions to reinforce HCWs’ practices, such as training and internal auditing.