Background Reducing healthcare associated infections (HCAI) and providing a safe environment within the Neonatal Unit (NNU) are essential to reduce mortality and morbidity. To reduce HCAI's and improve patient safety there are national and local directives concerning the recording and audit of key aspects of patient care.
Outline and activity Alongside the local and national initiatives, data concerning monthly reporting on compliance with mandatory daily checks has been recorded for a number of months on a level 2 NNU. From this data the Safety Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) was developed. This year a significant infection resulted in an extended period of unit closure necessitating a review of daily practice within the NNU. The SMART tool enabled retrospective analysis of the monthly reporting before and after the closure.
Project outcomes Review of the SMART tool data showed statistically significant improvements in the areas of the Unit Environment and Patient Safety Factors. This improvement was reinforced by a statistically significant (p≤0.002) improvement in the Critical Care Audit tool values which was also being analysed.
Possible implications for practice The SMART tool will allow monthly review of daily check practices, to facilitate timely intervention and prevention of critical incidences in the future.
Future plans The SMART tool augments the monitoring of the current audit tools from the Department of Health, the Trust and the Critical Care Audit Tool, providing a joint platform for ongoing evaluation and optimisation of current practice with the aim of improving patient care.
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