5 Strategies to Improve Hand Hygiene Adherence

The Joint Commission recently launched its Hand Hygiene Targeted Solutions Tool, an application that helps combat hand hygiene adherence problems in hospitals today.

Here are five targeted solutions to help improve hand hygiene compliance. These strategies can be remembered by their acronym: HANDS, to serve as a reminder that clinicians have the solution to effective hygiene in their hands.

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1. Habit: Make washing hands an action automatically taken upon entering or leaving a patient care area, as well as before and after patient care.

2. Active feedback: Leadership plays an important role in continually communicating with staff members about their hand hygiene compliance. Leaders can provide feedback by reminding staff to wash hands, engaging staff with real-time performance data, providing  proper training and acknowledging and celebrating improved hand hygiene.

3. "No one excused": Every staff member needs to be held accountable and responsible for proper hand hygiene. Identifying hand hygiene as an organizational priority communicates that everyone is expected to follow suit.

4. Data driven: Monitoring adherence to hand hygiene policy and analyzing that data can help identify areas for improvement and spur the creation of ideas on targeted solution implementation.

5. Systems: Hand hygiene compliance is a system-wide effort, and protocols should be ingrained throughout the organization. The infrastructure of systems should be designed in such a way that it is easier for clinicians to adhere to proper hand hygiene, with infrastructural features such as easy access to hand hygiene equipment, technologies to help staff remember to wash hands and patient care areas set up in a way that is conducive to hand washing.

More Articles on Hand Hygiene:

Video Surveillance: The Best Hand Hygiene Monitoring Tool?
Patient Safety Tool: "Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands" & "One Trillion Germs" CDC Hand Hygiene Posters Now in 6 Languages
Hand Hygiene Highlights 2013: 10 Best Articles

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