Clinician perspectives of policy implementation: A qualitative study of the implementation of a national infection prevention policy in Australian hospitals

Publication Type:
Journal Article
American Journal of Infection Control, 2019, 47 (4), pp. 366 - 370
Issue Date:
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© 2018 Background: Clinicians play an essential role in the implementation of infection prevention policy. Despite this, little is known about how infection control policy is implemented at an organizational level or what factors influence this process. In this study, we explore these factors and the policy implementation process in the context of the introduction of a national large-scale, government-directed infection prevention policy in Australia. Methods: Focus groups with infection control professionals were held in 3 states to investigate the perspectives of infection control professionals involved in the implementation of aseptic technique policy requirements in Australian hospitals. Data were analyzed using an interpretive description approach, with themes mapped to the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research. Results: Common contextual factors were identified across all levels of the healthcare system that influenced implementation of the infection control policy, including external factors associated with the policy itself and the regulatory nature of government-directed policy. Conclusions: This study suggests that there may be particular constructs and contextual factors that are specific to policy implementation in the hospital setting. A better understanding of these factors and their influence on policy implementation would present an opportunity for improved implementation planning, resource allocation, and more effective policy development.
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