Infection Prevention Education Generates Significant Results

Located in Beaumont, a coastal city in Southeast Texas on the Neches River about 85 miles east of Houston, Calder Woods Senior Living Community is comprised of independent living, assisted living, memory, long-term and respite care for its residents who range in age from 62 to 104. Like many nursing homes, they were finding that residents and family were inconsistent with wearing masks to help prevent infection, particularly the coronavirus. “We wanted to ensure our residents and staff were protected at all cost,” said Kristie Gunn, BSN, RN, director of nursing services.

Starting in September 2022, Gunn’s quality improvement team at Calder Woods began a series of interventions that included staff, nurses, as well as the families of residents to improve quality. Some of the key components included visitor COVID-19 screenings with mask education, and reinforcing personal protective equipment (PPE) protocols, social distancing and hand hygiene.

“We had scheduled and unscheduled observations of all interventions,” Gunn said. “We also conducted weekly observations with various staff members for hand hygiene, along with continued observations of families and visitors.”

The Calder Woods team’s biggest success came from hosting in-services with its clinical team and demonstrating hand hygiene importance using visual trainings with a powder or gel such as Glo Germ, Germ Juice or GlitterBug, which simulates the presence of germs on hands.

“The staff were able to all wash their hands, and we gathered around and observed each person’s performance under a UV light before showing an educational video on the proper way to wash your hands,” explained Dunn. “Staff were very engaged with this process and really bought into it.”

By tracking their quality improvement measures in an Outcomes Reporting Tracker, Calder Woods saw their numbers for staff hand hygiene increase from 75% to 95% within one month.

The TMF Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) worked with Dunn’s organization to provide resources where needed, she said. “Our quality improvement specialist really did a great job working with me and my team in having us understand why the core principles of infection prevention and adhering to this plan would really benefit the facility in the long term, which it has.”

Calder Woods has continued using the visual in-service trainings for all new hires and existing staff. In addition, there is significantly increased adherence and competency with mask wearing and following PPE protocol more efficiently in all areas, including both staff and visitors.

“As an organization, consistency is key to success,” Dunn said. The proof is in Calder Woods’ quality improvement initiative numbers, which are still high today. Continuing education in all areas is vital to maintaining effectiveness, she says, along with continuing their interventions and processes to maintain success and best practices.

For information on how a TMF QIN-QIO specialist can assist your nursing facility, please email