Does your healthcare facility meet current infection prevention and hand hygiene standards? If they’re not following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) “My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene,” as suggested by the Joint Commission,[i] the answer is likely no. With the height of cold and flu season around the corner, SC Johnson Professional is offering tips for healthcare facility leaders on how to implement an effective hand hygiene performance improvement program.
Hand hygiene compliance plays a critical role in reducing HAIs. When healthcare professionals actively engage in infection prevention measures, such as effective hand hygiene protocols, it’s possible to reduce the rates of certain HAIs by more than 70 percent.[ii]
However, even though it’s widely known that hand hygiene is the most important intervention for preventing HAIs, actual hand hygiene compliance rates are estimated to average 50 percent or less.[iii]
To help healthcare facilities encourage a robust hand hygiene compliance program, SC Johnson Professional offers the following tips:
- Top-down Commitment. Employees are more likely to comply with hand hygiene protocols if they witness hospital leaders doing the same. Encouraging leadership to demonstrate commitment by complying with hand hygiene protocols, as well as communicating its importance to staff, can help foster a culture of compliance.
- Track and Report. Electronic monitoring programs provide powerful information that healthcare professionals can use to understand, track and improve their hand hygiene performance. The data can complement the use of observations for real-time coaching and feedback. Consider implementing an electronic hand hygiene compliance system that has been clinically proven to measure compliance with best practices (WHO 5 Moments), improve hand hygiene performance and reduce HAIs[iv].
- Share Results. Share consistent and reliable data correlating HAI rates to hand hygiene compliance rates with employees so they can visualize the direct impact of hand hygiene on lower incidences of infection. Clinically validated data lends credibility to the message and has been shown to lead to higher performance.
- Reminders. Reinforce hand hygiene education efforts with hospital staff by posting reminders in staff breakrooms, restrooms, locker rooms and other high-visibility locations. Reminder discussions should also take place during every meeting and daily huddle, whether unit-specific or all-staff.
- Utilize Resources. Consider participating in a program like SC Johnson Professional’s Partners in Performance Program, www.scjp-partnersinperformance.com, which offers healthcare facilities the tools and resources necessary to build a complete hand hygiene program, including improved compliance, lasting behavior change and increased patient safety.
- Quality Products. Considering healthcare workers wash their hands an average of 100 times per 12-hour shift[v], great care should be taken when choosing hand soap, lotions, scrubs, and sanitizers to limit instances of contact dermatitis, and increase chances of hand hygiene compliance. Healthcare facilities should consider a highly effective, yet gentle product such as SC Johnson Professional’s Alcare Extra Foaming Hand Sanitizer, that not only sanitizes hands quickly, but leaves hands feeling soft and moisturized – especially during cold, dry winter months. Also consider providing workers healthcare grade moisturizing hand lotions, such as Lotion Soft Skin Conditioner, which are compatible with gloves and will not reduce the persistent effects of antimicrobial agents.
For more information on SC Johnson Professional’s hand hygiene solutions for hospital facilities, including the DebMed Electronic Hand Hygiene Compliance Monitoring System, visit https://www.debmed.com/how-it-works.See the latest posts on our homepage