Monitoring of Universal Precautions as a Factor in Patient and Staff Safety

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Quality improvement (QI) monitoring of universal precautions at the author's facility appeared to indicate that although personal protective equipment is always available and staff are increasingly aware of the need to protect themselves, compliance with medical center practices remained inconsistent. The use, throughout the QI program at the medical center, of appropriate indicators to monitor for sharps incidents and body fluid splashes continues to highlight the need for innovative activities to help staff achieve more optimal compliance with medical center policies. Causes for noncompliance are examined using a problem-solving approach accompanied by various continuous quality improvement (CQI) tools. Root causes are explored with the intention of providing support rather than blame for the findings. Outcomes of activities that were implemented to improve compliance with medical center policies and practices are highlighted.

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