According to the CDC, hand hygiene is one of the most important and effective means to stop the spread of infections in healthcare facilities. The CDC estimates that on any given day, about 1 in 25 hospital patients get at least one hospital-acquired infection, and in about 10% of these cases, patients will die as a result.1

Hand Hygiene in Hospitals Today

The Leapfrog Group, a non-profit hospital monitoring group, recently released their 2014 findings that showed improvement in hand hygiene. However, with one in four hospitals still failing to meet handwashing best practices, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Leapfrog states that “all hospitals should strive for 100 percent compliance with all 10 handwashing safe practices.” 1

What’s Being Done

Hospitals around the world have implemented the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Five Moments for Hand Hygiene program,2 and a growing number are now utilizing technology to enforce hand washing compliance. Becker’s Hospital Review reports that “many hospitals use real-time location systems or mini wireless networks within the hospital to track employee movement and hand sanitizer use via sensors in dispensers.”3 Unfortunately, tracking systems are showing much lower compliance rates than had been previously reported. Dave Mackay, vice president of healthcare for GOJO Industries (a producer of skin health and hygiene solutions), says hospital administrators shouldn’t panic. The decline in compliance rates, after introducing electronic monitoring, is a result of “introducing a new baseline for measurement.” 3 Hospitals should stay focused on improvement.

Everybody Plays a Role

For too long, hospitals have carried an unfair burden in reducing the spread of HAIs, but everybody, not just the medical staff, plays a role in keeping patients safe. Patients and their visitors, general staff, healthcare vendor representatives, volunteers, and contractors all need to be vigilant with their hand washing, and hospitals need to educate each role on hand hygiene best practices.

Creating a Safe Environment

Improvement in hand hygiene is a mixed bag for hospitals. Though Leapfrog’s study shows an uptick the use of best practices, electronic monitoring indicates handwashing compliance is lower than previously thought. IntelliCentrics can help. sets the best of the best standards from over 70 independent international organizations, meets the requirements of 11 federal agencies, and includes recommendations from the CDC and WHO. Additionally, hospitals have the ability to benchmark their progress against regional, national, and even international facilities. Through the sharing of best practices, the education of everyone who enters the facility, and improved monitoring and reporting systems, hospitals and other healthcare facilities have the tools to reach 100% hand hygiene compliance and create a safe environment for patients.

Sources:

  1. http://www.leapfroggroup.org/media/file/2014LeapfrogSurveyFinalReport.pdf
  2. http://who.int/gpsc/tools/Five_moments/en/
  3. http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/quality/hand-hygiene-in-2015-embrace-the-new-number.html

    Healthcare Leaders

blog_HandHygiene2015According to the CDC, hand hygiene is one of the most important and effective means to stop the spread of infections in healthcare facilities. The CDC estimates that on any given day, about 1 in 25 hospital patients get at least one hospital-acquired infection, and in about 10% of these cases, patients will die as a result.1

Hand Hygiene in Hospitals Today

The Leapfrog Group, a non-profit hospital monitoring group, recently released their 2014 findings that showed improvement in hand hygiene. However, with one in four hospitals still failing to meet handwashing best practices, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Leapfrog states that “all hospitals should strive for 100 percent compliance with all 10 handwashing safe practices.” 1

What’s Being Done

Hospitals around the world have implemented the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Five Moments for Hand Hygiene program,2 and a growing number are now utilizing technology to enforce hand washing compliance. Becker’s Hospital Review reports that “many hospitals use real-time location systems or mini wireless networks within the hospital to track employee movement and hand sanitizer use via sensors in dispensers.”3 Unfortunately, tracking systems are showing much lower compliance rates than had been previously reported. Dave Mackay, vice president of healthcare for GOJO Industries (a producer of skin health and hygiene solutions), says hospital administrators shouldn’t panic. The decline in compliance rates, after introducing electronic monitoring, is a result of “introducing a new baseline for measurement.” 3 Hospitals should stay focused on improvement.

Everybody Plays a Role

For too long, hospitals have carried an unfair burden in reducing the spread of HAIs, but everybody, not just the medical staff, plays a role in keeping patients safe. Patients and their visitors, general staff, healthcare vendor representatives, volunteers, and contractors all need to be vigilant with their hand washing, and hospitals need to educate each role on hand hygiene best practices.

Creating a Safe Environment

Improvement in hand hygiene is a mixed bag for hospitals. Though Leapfrog’s study shows an uptick the use of best practices, electronic monitoring indicates handwashing compliance is lower than previously thought. IntelliCentrics SEC3URE can help. SEC3URE sets the best of the best standards from over 70 independent international organizations, meets the requirements of 11 federal agencies, and includes recommendations from the CDC and WHO. Additionally, hospitals have the ability to benchmark their progress against regional, national, and even international facilities. Through the sharing of best practices, the education of everyone who enters the facility, and improved monitoring and reporting systems, hospitals and other healthcare facilities have the tools to reach 100% hand hygiene compliance and create a safe environment for patients.

Sources:

  1. http://www.leapfroggroup.org/media/file/2014LeapfrogSurveyFinalReport.pdf
  2. http://who.int/gpsc/tools/Five_moments/en/
  3. http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/quality/hand-hygiene-in-2015-embrace-the-new-number.html

    Healthcare Leaders

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