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Title: The effect of implementing an aseptic practice bundle for anaesthetists to reduce postoperative infections, the Anaesthetists Be Cleaner (ABC) study: protocol for a stepped wedge, cluster randomised, multi-site trial
Authors: Merry, Alan F.
Gargiulo, Derryn A.
Bissett, Ian
Cumin, David
English, Kerry
Frampton, Christopher
Hamblin, Richard
Hannam, Jacqueline
Moore, Matthew
Reid, Papaarangi
Roberts, Sally
Taylor, Elsa
Mitchell Simon J.
ABC Study Group
Keywords: Anaesthesia
cluster randomised
patient safety
postoperative infection
stepped wedge
Issue Date: 10-Jun-2019
Source: 2019;20(1):342
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Postoperative infection is a serious problem in New Zealand and internationally with considerable human and financial costs. Also, in New Zealand, certain factors that contribute to postoperative infection are more common in Māori and Pacific populations. To date, most efforts to reduce postoperative infection have focussed on surgical aspects of care and on antibiotic prophylaxis, but recent research shows that anaesthesia providers may also have an impact on infection transmission. These providers sometimes exhibit imperfect hand hygiene and frequently transfer the blood or saliva of their patients to their work environment. In addition, intravenous medications may become contaminated whilst being drawn up and administered to patients. Working with relevant practitioners and other experts, we have developed an evidence-informed bundle to improve key aseptic practices by anaesthetists with the aim of reducing postoperative infection. The key elements of the bundle are the filtering of compatible drugs, context-relevant hand hygiene practices and enhanced maintenance of clean work surfaces. METHODS: We will seek support for implementation of the bundle from senior anaesthesia and hospital leadership and departmental "champions". Anaesthetic teams and recovery room staff will be educated about the bundle and its potential benefits through presentations, written material and illustrative videos. We will implement the bundle in operating rooms where hip or knee arthroplasty or cardiac surgery procedures are undertaken in a five-site, stepped wedge, cluster randomised, quality improvement design. We will compare outcomes between approximately 5000 cases before and 5000 cases after implementation of our bundle. Outcome data will be collected from existing national and hospital databases. Our primary outcome will be days alive and out of hospital to 90 days, which is expected to reflect all serious postoperative infections. Our secondary outcome will be the rate of surgical site infection. Aseptic practice will be observed in sampled cases in each cluster before and after implementation of the bundle. DISCUSSION: If effective, our bundle may offer a practical clinical intervention to reduce postoperative infection and its associated substantial human and financial costs.
PubMed URL:
Journal Title: Trials
Type: Journal Article
Affiliates: Department of Anaesthesiology, School of Medicine, University of Auckland
Study/Trial: Multicentre Studies
Appears in Collections:Scholarly and Clinical

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