Original Article | Open Access
The Impact of Requiring Completion of an Online Infection Control Course on Health Professionals’ Intentions to Comply with Infection Control Guidelines: A Comparative Study
BACKGROUND: Ensuring good infection control practice in health care facilities is a constant concern, yet evidence shows that the compliance of health care professionals with proper procedures is lacking, despite the existence of guidelines and training programs. An online infection control module was developed to provide ready access to training. Controversy exists about whether successfully completing such a course should be mandatory or strongly encouraged for all health care professionals. The objective of the present study was to compare the perception of safety culture and intention to comply with infection control guidelines in professionals who were required by their supervisors to take the course, and those who did so voluntarily.METHODS: Survey responses on learning environment, safety climate and intention to comply with infection control guidelines in health care professionals who were required to take the course (supervisor-required group [n=143]) and those who took the same course voluntarily (voluntary group [n=105]) were compared. Because randomization was thought to be too difficult to implement in the policy context in which the study was conducted, significant differences between the two groups were taken into account in the analysis.RESULTS: Those required to take the course had a significantly better perception of the institutional safety climate (P<0.001), and had a higher reported intention to comply with infection control guidelines (P=0.040) than those who took the course voluntarily.DISCUSSION: Requiring that staff complete a 30 min interactive online infection control module increased their intention to comply with infection control guidelines compared with those who voluntarily accessed this material based on promotional material. Consideration should be given to making the successful completion of an online infection control module a requirement for all health care professionals.
Copyright © 2009 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.