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Introduction of an isolation policy in paediatric wards

, : Introduction of an isolation policy in paediatric wards. Paediatric Nursing 19(9): 14-17

Where and how to care for children with infections, or those requiring protection, is a daily debate in many paediatric settings. The practice of placing patients into single rooms for infection control purposes is well documented but there is little guidance on when to remove patients from isolation rooms. Unless the appropriateness of isolation for each patient is evaluated daily, the availability of cubicles falls, resulting in potentially unnecessary transfers to other hospitals where such facilities are available. A new isolation policy was introduced to improve the availability of isolation rooms on paediatric wards in a large inner city teaching hospital with over 100 paediatric inpatient beds. A change management framework was used that included empowering organisational action and consolidating improvements. A number of strategies were introduced to prompt daily review of children in isolation, including clear criteria for isolation and nursing staff in the emergency department challenging the decision to admit a child into an isolation room. Introduction of the policy and subsequent audits have resulted in improved staff awareness, more effective use of isolation rooms and reduced transfers to other hospitals.


PMID: 18047166

DOI: 10.7748/paed2007.

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