After implementation of the educational program that aims at reducing the prevalence of nosocomial infections in the ICU, evaluation is necessary to assess its effectiveness. Successfulness of the programs is dependent on the ability of the stakeholders to evaluate “performance measures and outcomes that are defined, valid, and reliable” (Chelluri, 2008, p. 71). Since the educational program equips the critical care nurses with evidence-based knowledge and skills that are imperative in prevention of nosocomial infections, after undergoing through the program, the nurses can deliver quality nursing care in the ICU, which is in tandem with current nursing practices. Thus, the evaluation plan describes the methods and tools necessary for evaluating the effectiveness of educational programs in reducing prevalence of nosocomial infections in the ICU.
The use of survey is one of the methods of evaluating the effectiveness of the educational program in reducing incidences of nosocomial infections and improving quality of care in the ICU. The variables that the evaluation plan seeks to assess are knowledge, skills, and perceptions of critical care nurses, perceptions of patients, the prevalence of nosocomial infections, and the cost of treating nosocomial infections. The survey helps in gathering information regarding the perceptions of nurses about the implementation of the educational program and its impact on their knowledge and skills. Majid, Foo, and Mokhtar (2011) argue that perceptions, skills, and knowledge of nurses determine effectiveness of adoption and utilization of evidence-based practices. The evaluation plan also surveys the perceptions of the ICU patients concerning the quality of care that they receive. In this view, survey of nurses and patients before and after implementation of the educational program is necessary. Moreover, analysis of records, before and after implementation of the educational program, which shows the prevalence of nosocomial infections and cost associated with their treatment, is important in evaluating the effectiveness of the program in reducing nosocomial infections.
The tools necessary to educate critical care nurses as project participants include charts, brochures, PowerPoint presentations, and seminars. The educational program produces charts with evidence-based protocols, and places them on the walls so that the ICU nurses can constantly update their practices to be in tandem with the protocols on the charts. Theofanidis and Founouki (2010) assert that application of the evidence-based interventions is critical in improving quality of healthcare that patients receive in hospitals. Moreover, provision of pertinent information via brochures, and PowerPoint presentations enables critical care nurses to access evidence-based practices promptly, thus enabling them to adopt and apply when delivering care to the ICU patients. Organization of seminars is also critical so that critical care nurses, nurse managers, and chief nurses can get an opportunity to interact with varied experts in the critical care environment.
The assessment tool assesses outcomes of educational program in terms of nurses’ knowledge, skills, and perceptions, prevalence of nosocomial infections, and the cost of treating nosocomial infections. Assessment of perceptions, knowledge, and skills of nurses regarding the application of evidence-based practices in prevention and control of nosocomial infections are important indicators of assessing the impact of the educational program in nursing care (DeVos et al., 2010; Walsh, 2010).The application of evidence-based practices in the ICU reflects competence of the critical care nurses. Additionally, how the ICU patients perceive the nature of care that they receive is also a critical parameter of assessing effectiveness of the educational program. According to Zavare (2010), “during hospitalization, patient satisfaction represents a balance between the patient’s perception and expectation of their nursing care” (p. 118). Hence, evaluating the perceptions of patients regarding the nature of care they receive indicate how the educational program enhances quality of nursing care among the ICU patients. Ultimately, assessment of the prevalence of nosocomial infections and the cost associated with their treatment indicates if educational program has any impact. Since the educational program aims at reducing incidences of nosocomial infections, it follows that the cost of their treatment decreases concomitantly.
Chelluri, L. (2008). Quality and performance improvement in critical care. Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine, 12(2), 67-76.
DeVos, et al. (2010). Implementing quality indicators in intensive care units: Exploring barriers to and facilitators of behavior change. Implementation Science, 5(52), 1-8.
Majid, S., Foo, S., & Mokhtar, I. (2011). Adopting evidence-based practice in clinical decision-making: Nurses’ perceptions, knowledge, and barriers. Journal of Medical Library Association, 99(3), 229-236.
Theofanidis, D., & Founouki, A. (2010). Quality of life and nursing: A position paper. International Journal of caring Sciences, 13(2), 56-62.
Walsh, N. (2010). Dissemination of evidence into practice: Opportunities and threats. Primary Health Care, 20(3), 26-30.
Zavare, M. (2010). Patient satisfaction: Evaluation nursing care for patients hospitalized with cancer in Tehran Teaching Hospitals, Iran. Global Journal of Health Science, 2(1), 117-126.