Focus: Infection Control

Shriners nurses launch hand-hygiene program

January 4, 2019

Shriners Hospitals for Children - Chicago has a new way of getting healthcare staff to keep their hands clean, according to an article on the DailyNurse website.

The program is called “High Five” for Hand Hygiene. If a staff member was observed not to have cleaned their hands when they should have, another staff will give them a cue and say, “High Five,” indicating they need to clean their hands, but not embarrassing them in front of patients.

Staff are expected to clean their hands when entering the patients’ rooms and upon exiting…and also in the room if needed. The hospital uses secret observers who document their observations and turn them in to infection prevention supervisors on a quarterly basis. They review the forms, tally the rates, and send a feedback letter to those who were found to be noncompliant. They are asked to review the steps of hand hygiene and then sign and return the form. Their confidentiality is maintained.

During Infection Prevention Week, the hospital deputized patients with badges and asked them to be the Hand Hygiene Police. They received hand clappers and on one side I wrote “Please wash” and on the other side “Thank you for cleaning your hands.” Patients were asked to clap the clappers, and let staff know they were being thanked for cleaning their hands or remind them to clean their hands.

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