A new study says positive collaborative relationships between nurses and physicians decrease rates of healthcare-associated infections in critical care, according to an article in the April issue of Critical Care Nurse. The article “Nurse-Physician Collaboration and Hospital-Acquired Infections in Critical Care” examines the nurse-physician working relationships and ventilator-associated pneumonia and central line-associated bloodstream infection rates.
The research team found that lower rates of VAP and CLASBI occurred in CCUs in which nurses reported a more favorable perception of nurse-physician collaboration. “Our findings suggest that raising the quality of collaboration and communication among nurses and physicians has the potential to improve patient safety,” study author Christine Boev, PhD, RN, CCRN, an assistant professor, Wegmans School of Nursing, St. John Fisher College, Rochester, NY, said in a news release. “Efforts to prevent healthcare-associated infections must include interventions to improve nurse-physician collaboration.”
Boev said multidisciplinary daily patient rounds and interprofessional educational programs, such as shared simulation training, can improve nurse-physician collaboration, according to the article.
For the study, the researchers conducted a secondary analysis of five years of nurse perception data from 671 surveys of nurses in four specialized ICUs at a 750-bed New York hospital. They also collected patient outcome data from those units for the same period, focusing on patients with CLABSI or VAP. Also included in the analysis were unit-level variables such as nurses’ skill mix, nursing hours per patient day and voluntary turnover. Their findings included:
• ICUs with a higher incidence of nurse-physician collaboaration showed a decrease in CLABSIs.
• ICUs with a higher proportion of certified nurses were associated with lower incidences of both CLABSI and VAP.
• ICUs with higher numbers of nursing hours per patient day were associated with decreased rates of CLABSI.
• The research team did not find any correlation between nurses’ skill mix and voluntary turnover on HAI rates.
View the article abstract and full-text PDF at http://ccn.aacnjournals.org.