David Chimento, Manager of Client Services
Proper hand hygiene is one of the most important ways to reduce the spread of infections. Hospitals and healthcare networks are drawing increasing attention from patients, and regulatory agencies since many infections can be prevented with proper hygiene policies. However, it can be difficult to track and correct any issues within the policy without proper checks and controls.
There are some simple steps your organization can follow to ensure compliance with your Hand Hygiene policy.
Select an automated rounding tool to assess your program in action. A Hand Hygiene solution needs to be monitored and adjusted to ensure it is working properly and meeting the requirements. Without constant and consistent monitoring, issues cannot be identified and corrected.
Create templates for use in your observation process. This does not have to be an overwhelming endeavor. As a part of your Rounding solution, an organization should have access to a database of questions from which they can create observations or rounds. It is important during this phase to focus on real-time observations of the process such as watching staff wash pre and post contact, ensure supplies such as soap, towels, and sanitizers are readily available, and identify any areas of deficiencies.
Once a deficiency or non-compliance is discovered, a procedure should be in place to address and correct the deficiency. For example, in areas where supplies are low or unavailable, an automated request can trigger staff to deliver the appropriate supplies.
With any process, tracking and trending of the results can help with continuous improvement. Reports can help identify the most deficient departments, so leaders can identify in-service opportunities for educating on Hand Hygiene processes to increase compliance.
When creating a Hand Hygiene Policy, it is important to ensure compliance with all areas. Here are just a few of the techniques our customers include in their rounding initiative:
- Glove Use
- Surgical Hand Antisepsis
- Fingernail and Jewelry Guidelines
- Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizer Guidelines
- Soap and Water Hand Washing Guidelines
By putting these simple steps into place, your healthcare organization can ensure hand hygiene processes are followed reducing the risk of a death from a hospital acquired infection.