Background: To prevent health care-associated infections, health organizations recommend that health care workers stringently observe standard precautions (SPs). Nevertheless, compliance with SPs is still suboptimal, emphasizing the need for improvement interventions. Methods: A cluster randomized controlled trial with a pretest-post-test design was conducted with 121 clinical nurses who worked in different wards of a university hospital. The intervention group (n = 61) had 3 infection control link nurses nominated and attended systematic audits and feedback. The control group (n = 60) received only the standard multimodal approach used in the hospital. Pre- and post-test assessment of SPs compliance was performed via the World Health Organization observational hand hygiene form and Compliance with Standard Precaution Scale Italian version. Results: At the post-test, nurses in the intervention group reported significantly increased compliance with hand hygiene, whereas no significant improvement was found in the control group. Nurses in both groups reported significantly increased Compliance with Standard Precaution Scale Italian version scores; however, a higher increase and practical significance was observed in the intervention group. Participants who improved their scores were also compared between groups, showing a significantly greater increase of individual scores in intervention group compared to the control group. Conclusions: The findings of this study provide significant practical implications for hospitals seeking to improve compliance with SPs among nurses, showing the effectiveness of using infection control link nurses combined with systematic audits and feedback.
- Health care-associated infections
- Improvement intervention
- Infection control
- Occupational health
- Patient safety