Alcohol-Based Sanitizers in Orthopedic Clinical Setting

1033 words | 4 page(s)

Proposed Solution
Proposed intervention is routine application of alcohol-based sanitizer. Already a recognized and recommended approach by WHO and other professional organizations, the underlying problem is convincing physicians and other professionals to abide by these requirements. When alcohol-based sanitizers are applied to the hands before and after treatment commences, the spread of disease is drastically reduced. However, in many cases, physicians simply eschew this common sense advice and instead move from patient to patient, often failing to meet these requirements. Therefore the proposed solution is one of practice application and not the introduction of a new methodology. Instead of introducing yet another way to attempt to reduce the spread of bacteria and infections, it is necessary to propose a means by which to convince physicians and others to routinely clean their hands using an alcohol-based solution, which is proven to be most efficacious.

This intervention is a realistic one for an orthopedic setting; as such a setting has plenty of places to administer said intervention. Dispensing of alcohol-based solvents has never been the underlying problem, however. The real and very serious threat is that professionals in a clinical setting, because they are generally in a hurry, will not take the time to apply this solvent and destroy the bacteria living on their hands. Therefore, in order to make this intervention work effectively in a clinical practice, it is paramount that efforts are made to build habits among professionals. Training for this is simple and straightforward: all professionals must be addressed personally and professionally, shown where all cleaning dispensers are located, and explained that it is paramount they apply solvent before meeting with any patient. By doing this, they will be reducing the spread of bacteria and helping the entire orthopedic practice to protect lives, as this sanitizing method has been shown to be even more effective an intervention than protective equipment (Greer & Marzilli, 2014).

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Organizational Culture
This orthopedic setting has naturally created a significant influx of informal organizations, nestled conveniently within the top-down formal organization that is officially endorsed by the practice. These informal organizations generally include assumed rapport between physicians and a network of nurses and others who have similarly established trust. These relationships are not inherently bad but may inflict negative opinions on the new intervention, as some will not begin to apply alcohol-based solvents until they have witnessed others within their secret tribunals doing the same. For this reason, it is important to work with the informal organizations. When these individual groups begin to adopt the newfound intervention, others will follow suit. This shows the paramount importance of recognizing both formal and informal organizational culture and using this to one’s benefit when attempting to implement new approaches.

Expected Outcomes
The expected outcome of this intervention is that orthopedic patients will have fewer infections as a result of alcohol-based sanitizers. The use of alcohol-based sanitizers is recommended by the WHO core guidelines, as they recognize that such an approach reduces dangerous bacteria and can help to stop the spread (Sattar & Longtin, 2017). Once physicians and others within the practice are regularly applying the alcohol-based solution, the risk of infection will decrease; even on farms, microbial infections suddenly decrease when this intervention is implemented (de Aceituno, Bartz, Hodge, Shumaker, Grubb, Arbogast, & Leon, 2015), the same has been proven in households (Tamimi, Carlino, Edmonds, & Gerba, 2014). Therefore, while some infections will still likely occur and may not be preventable, the amount of infections as a whole will begin to drop. In a six-month time frame, this outcome is expected to be witnessed.

Method to Achieve Outcomes
First step to achieve this outcome will be to educate all on the importance of using antibacterial alcohol-based sanitizers. Then, once this has been clarified, all will be educated on where the sanitary dispensers are located and how best to apply them. It will be expected that everyone will conform to this education and informal organizations will be monitored to ensure that all members of all groups are routinely using this methodology. By abiding with this intervention, all participants will contribute meaningfully to the reduction in bacterial infection. Alcohol-based sanitizers are a proven intervention that works when applied; the problem is ensuring that all are using them at appropriate times. By training for this goal, this orthopedic practice can ensure that the proper approach is completed.

Outcome Impact
The impact that this outcome will have is clear and beneficial. The spread of disease within the practice will be reduced greatly as a direct result of this. By routinely applying hand sanitizer (an alcohol based one) there will be less bacteria to spread. As the reduction in bacteria is witnessed, the entire practice will spread less disease. As some orthopedic patients have reduced immune capacity, this is an important practice that will have an immediate and positive impact on the entire clinic. By implementing this intervention, there will be a reduction in bacteria. By reducing bacteria, there will be a reduction in disease in the practice. These efforts will help to ensure that health and safety of all orthopedic patients. It is not a challenging intervention to employ, making it a very smart decision for this practice to engage in. While the organizational culture of the orthopedic practice will need to be understood and worked with, these smaller organizations, both formal and informal, will play a significant part in the overall efficacy of the intervention. By working to educate all members on the importance of alcohol-based sanitizers, the practice can improve its overall health.

  • Greer, D. B., & Marzilli, C. (2014). Comparison of Alcohol-Based Sanitizers Versus Personal Protective Equipment on the Incidence of Hospital-associated Infections.
  • de Aceituno, A. F., Bartz, F. E., Hodge, D. W., Shumaker, D. J., Grubb, J. E., Arbogast, J. W., … & Leon, J. S. (2015). Ability of Hand Hygiene Interventions Using Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers and Soap To Reduce Microbial Load on Farmworker Hands Soiled during Harvest. Journal of Food Protection®, 78(11), 2024-2032.
  • Tamimi, A. H., Carlino, S., Edmonds, S., & Gerba, C. P. (2014). Impact of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer intervention on the spread of viruses in homes. Food and environmental virology, 6(2), 140-144.
  • Sattar, S. A., & Longtin, Y. (2017). Handborne Spread of Noroviruses and its Interruption. Hand Hygiene: A Handbook for Medical Professionals, 385-390.

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