Weaver BR, Mumma JM, Parmar S, Morgan JS, Ghassemian G, Burke KB, Gannon PR, MacKay RE, Berryhill BA, Lee L. Sequencing patient care tasks as an infection prevention practice. Proc Hum Factors Ergon. 2023 Oct 25;67(1):1900-4. doi: 10.1177/21695067231192931


Healthcare-associated infections are common, yet largely preventable. We examined whether nurses that successfully limited their contamination spread in a high-fidelity simulated environment sequenced their tasks differently than nurses that spread more contamination by reanalyzing an existing dataset. In the simulations, contamination spread was tracked using live viral surrogates (bacteriophages), which are harmless to humans. An overall contamination performance score was calculated for each participant, who were divided into one of three performance groups: high (M = 93%), medium (M = 78%), or low (M = 59%). An ANOVA showed contamination performance group did not have a statistically significant effect on the order nurses completed tasks; the largest effect size was small (ηG2 = 0.019). Thus, even if nurses that successfully limit their contamination spread do sequence their tasks differently, it may not be practically meaningful because it is a small effect.

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