Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Robert L. McWhirt
Hospital-associated infections (HAIs) are infections patients contract as a result of being hospitalized. HAI rates decreased for almost all pathogens in the past few years, with the exception of Clostridium difficile infections (CDIs), which have been steadily climbing, placing hospital-acquired CDI at the top of the HAI list. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2010 almost a half a million people were infected with CDIs yearly in the United States, and CDIs claimed the lives of approximately 29,000 people, representing a 4-fold increase from 1993. To address the problem in the local hospital, a quality improvement initiative called Bleach-It-Away was initiated. The initiative involved nurses wiping down the high touch areas in the patient's medical intensive care (MICU) rooms once every shift. The purpose of this quantitative research project was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Bleach-It-Away practice. The project question asked if the Bleach-It-Away practice was effective in reducing CDI rates. Deidentified CDI rates were provided by the clinical practice site covering a period of 12 months prior to implementation and 12 months after implementation of the practice. An independent t-test was used to determine whether there were significant improvements in CDI rates in the MICU. No significant improvement was seen in the postimplementation total CDI rates (p=.07) compared to the preimplementation rates. While the process did not demonstrate a significant improvement, positive social change is possible as hospitals recognize the many factors contributing to CDIs and the need for collaboration from various disciplines to control the problem.