Importance of hand hygiene policy

Dividing data Officials have broken up the data at Inova into two categories: I can manage to get sometime in the week to focus on my health, though it can be a time crunch. You also need administrative support for a secret shopper program to be effective. This gives staff members a small incremental pay increase, similar to what they would get for participating on a hospital committee, says Lovato.

Shoppers should know that they are performing an important service by protecting patient safety. Physicians are always the worst offenders, with nurses coming in second, says Lovato. Why do we still need to wash our hands? Hand hygiene compliance tends to be higher after a healthcare worker touches a patient than before.

Recently, the program was expanded to include physicians. To entice volunteers, Inova offers a step increase for secret shoppers. But physician hand hygiene rates have been a problem.

Always put a positive spin on your program. Information about individuals with multiple offenses goes into their files, Lovato says. Educating people on the importance of hand hygiene can sometimes convince them to join your effort. For example, if a particular unit has a high incidence of noncompliance, Lovato looks for opportunities to perform staff education or improve systems issues, such as making alcohol-based hand sanitizer more readily available.

Many of the trainers have participated in the program since the outset, and as a result, staff members on the floors have outed them as secret shoppers, says Lovato.

I almost never have enough time to look after my health, I have too much work to do. Hospital observations at Inova target three categories of workers: If Inova decides to require shoppers to intervene in the future, it will need to provide training to help shoppers administer this guidance diplomatically, says Lovato.

Healthcare workers are more likely to wash their hands to protect themselves from patient germs they may have encountered during contact than they are to protect the patient from their own germs, she says.

Sometimes, drug reps will do a presentation on infectious diseases or issues. I can always find enough time for exercise, sleep and healthy meals.

The numbers support her observation. Currently, Cleveland has only one shopper because it has been difficult finding volunteers to fill additional positions, but the hope is to expand the program, says Hudson.

Research has shown that people are more likely to wash their hands after using the bathroom if someone else is in the bathroom with them than if they are alone, says Hudson.

Lovato meets with the secret shoppers monthly, sometimes at a catered breakfast meeting. Hudson says his biggest challenge has been recruiting people to take the job. That has not been the case at Inova. One trainer on each unit monitors staff compliance with hand hygiene regulations and documents the findings on a standardized report form.

How secret shopper programs work Secret shopper programs vary, but at Inova and Cleveland, staff members are used to being secretly monitored for hand hygiene compliance. The hospital uses these hand hygiene figures to spot trends and identify problem areas.

Changing the culture Gaining compliance also requires a culture shift. This is primarily designed to target chronic offenders. Focusing on noncompliance To encourage compliance at Inova, the names of noncompliant staff members are reported to their managers.

Each trainer performs an average of 10 observations per month, says Lovato. Every month, Inova issues a report card listing the compliance rates for each unit.3 WAteR, sAnItAtIon AnD HYGIene (WAsH) In sCHooLs Background An estimated billion school days could be gained if the Millennium Development Goals.

If you want to see someone’s true behavior, watch what they do when they think no one is looking, says Brian Hudson, MT (ASCP), CIC, an infection preventionist (IP) at Cleveland Regional Medical Center in Shelby, NC. This is the idea behind secret shopper programs at various hospitals, which try to get a better picture of staff members’ hand hygiene.

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Importance of hand hygiene policy
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