Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) affect millions of Americans each year. Critically ill patients are highly susceptible to HAIs because of their need for central intravenous access, indwelling urinary catheters, acute delirium, and inability to perform hand washing independently. Nationwide, health care organizations continue to implement quality improvement strategies to address HAIs but primarily focus on enhancing the hand-washing practices of health care workers.

Few studies have investigated the effects of a patient-centered hand hygiene protocol on HAI rates. To address this, the authors implemented a quality improvement project that consisted of a patient hand hygiene protocol using chlorhexidine gluconate impregnated wipes to deter 2 commonly occurring HAIs, central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs) and catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), among critically ill adult patients.

Prior to data collection, the authors conducted orientation sessions for critical care nurses that consisted of training on electronic medical record documentation and demonstration of proper...

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