Skin and Soft Tissue Infections: Using a Severity Stratification Tool to Improve Knowledge
Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI’s) are a significant health concern with serious potential implications. Evidence suggests the importance of implementing a severity stratification tool to improve early identification of SSTI’s. The aim of this evidence based project is to examine if educating healthcare staff on the use of a severity stratification tool would increase staff knowledge of SSTI's. The sample consisted of 18 participants, 12 healthcare providers and 6 healthcare staff at a correctional facility in the Southwestern United States. A pre-and posttest design, including an educational session was implemented.
A 14-item multiple choice self-developed questionnaire was used to evaluate participants’ knowledge of identifying and ranking SSTI’s using the CREST tool. A one tail paired t-test was performed to compare the pre-and post-test case study scores for the healthcare provider group. A significant increase from pre-test to post-test case study scores was found (t(13)= -6.19, p < 0.00). Of the healthcare providers, 57% found the tool “moderately helpful.” Of the non-provider sample, 50% found the tool “extremely helpful” and plan to use the tool “all of the time.” The findings of this study suggest that implementing an educational session on a wound severity stratification tool improves staff knowledge and increases the likelihood of the tool being used in practice. Recommendations for future research include larger sample sizes across a variety of regional correctional facilities to further explore the use and knowledge of the tool in practice.