Linking scientific evidence and decision making : A case study of hand hygiene interventions

Graves, Nicholas, Halton, Kate A., Page, Katie, & Barnett, Adrian G. (2013) Linking scientific evidence and decision making : A case study of hand hygiene interventions. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 34(4), pp. 424-429.

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We consider how data from scientific research should be used for decision making in health services. Whether a hand hygiene intervention to reduce risk of nosocomial infection should be widely adopted is the case study. Improving hand hygiene has been described as the most important measure to prevent nosocomial infection. 1 Transmission of microorganisms is reduced, and fewer infections arise, which leads to a reduction in mortality2 and cost savings.3 Implementing a hand hygiene program is itself costly, so the extra investment should be tested for cost-effectiveness.4,5

The first part of our commentary is about cost-effectiveness models and how they inform decision making for health services. The second part is about how data on the effectiveness of hand hygiene programs arising from scientific studies are used, and 2 points are made: the threshold for statistical inference of .05 used to judge effectiveness studies is not important for decision making,6,7 and potentially valuable evidence about effectiveness might be excluded by decision makers because it is deemed low quality.8 The ideas put forward will help researchers and health services decision makers to appraise scientific evidence in a more powerful way.

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ID Code: 59519
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: hand hygiene, cost effectiveness, decision making
DOI: 10.1086/669862
ISSN: 1559-6834 (online) 0899-823X (print)
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ECONOMICS (140000) > APPLIED ECONOMICS (140200) > Health Economics (140208)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. All rights reserved.
Copyright Statement: Author's Pre-print: author can archive pre-print (ie pre-refereeing) Author's Post-print: subject to Restrictions below, author can archive post-print (ie final draft post-refereeing) Restrictions: •12 months embargo Publisher's Version/PDF: subject to Restrictions below, author can archive publisher's version/PDF Restrictions: •12 months embargo General Conditions: •On a not-for-profit author's personal server, institutional server or subject-based pre-print server including institutional repository •Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged •Publisher's version/PDF may be used in institutional repository (encouraged) •Encouraged to link to publisher version •Wellcome Trust and MRC authors may post authors own version in PubMed Central/ PubMed Central UK 6 month after publication •NIH authors may post authors own version in PubMed Central 12 months after publication
Deposited On: 01 May 2013 01:51
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2014 18:35

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