HealthDay News — Hospitals reporting high levels of psychological safety in their work culture are more likely to have comprehensive infection prevention and control programs, according to a study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

M. Todd Greene, PhD, from the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System in Michigan, and colleagues surveyed a random sample of infection preventionists affiliated with 900 US acute care hospitals in 2017 to assess hospital and infection control program characteristics, organizational factors, and the use of practices to prevent common health care-associated infections (HAIs). High psychological safety was defined as hospitals that scored 4 or 5 (5-point Likert scale) on 7 psychological safety questions.

The researchers found that 38% of responding hospitals were rated as having high psychological safety. High psychological safety was associated with increased odds of regularly using urinary catheter reminders or stop-orders and/or nurse-initiated urinary catheter discontinuation (odds ratio, 2.37) for catheter-associated urinary tract infection prevention, and regularly using sedation vacation (odds ratio, 1.93) for ventilator-associated pneumonia prevention.

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“A culture of psychological safety should be considered an integral part of HAI prevention efforts,” the authors write.

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