Low-resource clinical settings often face obstacles that challenge the implementation of recommended evidence-based practices (EBPs). Implementation science approaches are useful in identifying barriers and developing strategies to address them.
Ridge Regional Hospital (RRH), a tertiary referral hospital in Accra, Ghana experienced a spike in rates of neonatal sepsis and launched a quality improvement (QI) initiative that identified poor adherence to hand hygiene in the neonatal intensive care unit as a potential source of infections.
A multi-modal change package of World Health Organization-recommended solutions was created to address this issue.
To ensure that the outputs of the QI effort were adopted within the organization, leaders at RRH and Kybele, Inc. used an implementation science framework called the ‘Interactive Systems Framework for Dissemination and Implementation’ (ISF) to create a package of locally acceptable implementation strategies. The ISF has never been used before to guide implementation in low-resource settings.
Hand hygiene compliance rose from 67% to 92% overall, including a 36% increase during the night shifts—a group of healthcare workers with typically very low levels of compliance.
The drastic improvement in adherence to hand hygiene suggests the potential value of the joint use of QI and implementation science to promote the creation and application of contextually appropriate EBPs in low-resource settings. Our results also suggest that using an implementation framework such as the ISF could rapidly increase the uptake of other evidence-based interventions in low-resource settings.