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2023 HSR&D/QUERI National Conference Abstract

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5014 — Veteran Engagement in the Healthcare-Associated Infection Prevention Research Process: Perspectives on Hospital Cleanliness

Lead/Presenter: Mark Flower
All Authors: Flower M (University of Wisconsin-Madison) Hoel, S (University of Wisconsin-Madison, William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital) Parmasad, V (University of Wisconsin-Madison, William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital) McKinley, L (William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital) Safdar, N (University of Wisconsin-Madison, William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital)

Objectives:
The Patients Engaged in Education and Research (PEER) Group is a stakeholder engagement group consisting of Researchers, Caregivers and Veteran/non-Veteran patients with healthcare-associated infection (HAI) lived experiences, whose purpose is to engage patients in the research process for reducing HAIs.

Methods:
Cleaning of environmental surfaces is a critical entry-point for HAI prevention strategies. Patient perspectives on environmental cleaning within VA healthcare have not been examined. This study sought to describe Veteran patients’ perspectives within a VA hospital to identify barriers and facilitators to environmental cleaning processes and identify opportunities for patient-centered interventions.

Results:
As a members of the PEER group, we were involved in the project as members of the research team, providing input on each step of the research process. This included involvement in study conduct (e.g., development and pilot of data collection tools and interview guide), data analysis and interpretation, and data dissemination (e.g., abstract and manuscripts development and presentation).

Implications:
The PEER Group's involvement was instrumental in guiding data analysis and interpretation. A major observation of the project was the identification that patient presence during room cleaning influenced cleaning rates; room surfaces were cleaned less frequently when patients were present during cleaning than in rooms when the patients were absent. This barrier to cleaning was also identified as a major theme expressed in patient interviews.

Impacts:
HAIs are serious but preventable, and as stakeholders of patient care processes, Veteran patients have unique insight into the barriers and facilitators of HAI prevention processes. This project sought Veteran perspectives on specific environmental cleaning processes, going beyond a general question of satisfaction with hospital cleanliness. This project has led to a subsequent project to address the gap of cleaning when patients are present in the room. As a member of the PEER Group, I will again participate in this upcoming study as well as continue to be a member of the PEER Group, attend annual meetings, and share my input on other HAI prevention-related projects.