20 Ohio Hospitals' Hand Hygiene Compliance Rate Nearly Tripled

Twenty central Ohio hospitals nearly tripled their hand hygiene compliance rate over two years through a quality improvement initiative, according to a report by the Ohio Hospital Association's Central Ohio Hospital Quality Collaborative.

The report, "Central Ohio Hand Hygiene Initiative: Reducing Infections, Improving Patient Care," describes results of a two-year project led by OHA and the Central Ohio Hospital Council. Twenty Ohio hospitals increased their hand hygiene compliance by 197 percent, jumping from a 29 percent compliance rate in August 2010 to an 86 percent rate in November 2012.

The hand hygiene initiative included an observation program designed to measure hand hygiene practices in the 20 hospitals. Under the Ohio Hospital Association's Student Nurse Process Observation Program, student nurses acted as "secret shoppers" to record hand hygiene compliance using an iPad application, which made data available to hospitals on the same day as observation.

The following strategies were successful in improving hand hygiene compliance at the 20 hospitals, according to the report:

• Additional alcohol dispensers, located closer to patient rooms
• Signage for "Wash in/Wash out!" reminders
• Interdepartmental meetings on expected behaviors
• Competitions and rewards for best rates/most improved
• Coaching of associates by chief nursing and medical officers
• Educational video or employee plays/skits

In addition, the hospitals implemented more than 300 floor/unit-specific hand hygiene compliance plans.

More Articles on Hand Hygiene:

Evidence-Based Approaches to Hand Hygiene: Best Practices for Collaboration
Patient Safety Tool: 3 Videos on Hand Hygiene

Hygiene Handle Trials Show Drastic Improvements in Hand-Washing Compliance

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