Methods: We conducted 3 hour observation sessions focused on the movement and behaviors of parent-patient dyads in the waiting areas of 14 clinics within a large pediatric ambulatory network. Using an exam and waiting room audit tool, we documented parent-patient dyad and clinic infection control activities including use of alcohol hand rub, dyad wait times, and instances of surface cleaning in waiting areas. Presence of alcohol hand rub in waiting areas represented 1 opportunity for alcohol hand rub use.
Results: Nearly one-third (35.7%) of clinics had separate well and sick waiting rooms, 21% of clinics had hard toys in the waiting room, 79% had books or magazines, and 86% had at least one respiratory etiquette station. During 18 observation sessions, 542 dyads were observed. There were 34 occurrences of parent alcohol hand rub use in 598 opportunities (5.7%) and 32 occurrences of child alcohol hand rub use in 590 opportunities (5.4%). The median observed wait time was 7 mins (iqr: 9 mins). There was 1 occurrence of surface cleaning in a well waiting room (1.9%) and no observed surface cleaning in sick waiting rooms.
Conclusion: We observed potential opportunities for respiratory virus transmission with infrequent infection prevention activities including hand hygiene use among parents and patients. Since the prevention of HA-RI transmission is a shared responsibility among HCWs, parents, and patients, IPC programming in ambulatory practices should include audits of parent-patient compliance to IPC measures. Emphasizing behavioral changes among parents and children in ambulatory practices may also lead to adoption of these behaviors in the community, where unknown rates of transmission occurs.
J. Metlay, None
S. Coffin, None
K. Feemster, None