Thursday, March 07, 2013

Dirty hands and clean hands on WIHI

(2:00 – 3:00 PM Eastern Time)

Gene H. Burke, MD,
Vice President and Executive Medical Director for Clinical Effectiveness, Sentara Healthcare
Michael Howell, MD,
Director of Healthcare Delivery Science, Director of Critical Care Quality, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Lisa L. Maragakis, MD, MPH, FSHEA,
Director of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control, Johns Hopkins Hospital
Scott A. Miller, MD, FACP,
Vice President, Medical Affairs, Sentara Leigh Hospital
Tom Talbot, MD, MPH,
Chief Hospital Epidemiologist, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

One of the cornerstones of infection prevention in any health care setting, including when someone is being cared for at home, is good hand hygiene. Much of the attention in recent years has focused on hospitals and their rates of hand hygiene compliance among staff. And rightly so. Among the biggest contributors to hospital-acquired infections are, inadvertently, health professionals themselves... and others who come in contact with patients.

The good news, as you’ll be reminded on the March 7 WIHI, entitled No Excuses, No Slack! The Latest from the Front Lines on Hand Hygiene, is that awareness of the necessity of strict hand hygiene compliance has never been greater… not just in the US, but in acute care settings globally. And this awareness has been coupled with practices that are being adhered to more reliably than ever before. But not everywhere, all the time; organizations that can tout rates as high as 95% are still the exception, not the rule, and good performers continue to face challenges closing the gap.

For the March 7 WIHI, host Madge Kaplan has rounded up infection prevention leaders and clinicians from four organizations whose recent innovations with hand hygiene at their facilities represent what could be the best bet yet that 100% compliance is achievable. Sentara, Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center all have fresh approaches that rely on new kinds of auditing tools to discern what really works; better surveillance, monitoring, and measuring; reengineering; constant education; and a laser-like focus on behavior and culture change. 

What’s working in your organization? How are you getting your hand hygiene compliance rates to move upward? Compare and contrast your methods with those of our guests.

Please join us on the March 7 WIHI! Click here to enroll.


Mary Stanley said...

Hand washing is critical, and I cannot emphasize enough the importance of not letting your tie or other clothing drag across patients. It would me make cringe when I would see clinicians drag their clothing over a patient and then let that same clothing drag over other patients.

Nancy Thomas said...

Could we not do something simple such as post signs in patient rooms, halls, that say,

WE want you to ask us: "Have you washed your hands?"

That allows patients to become advocates (and good reminders) without fear of repercussion...simple, cost effective....

Nancy Thomas said...

In Europe, it is common that medical staff report to a changing room, change into freshly laundered scrubs, and at the end of the day, change back into their street clothes. Think about this: How often do you dry clean your tie? Is your lab coat on all day, in and out of patient rooms? How about that stethoscope? That is a tougher one....your pen....your cell phone....etc.

Mark Graban said...

Nancy - this has been tried a lot... endless posters about handwashing and even getting staff to wear buttons that say "ask me if I've washed my hands."

Patients are often afraid to speak up. Staff feel insulted about wearing the buttons.

They KNOW to wash/gel/clean their hands. Why aren't they? There are many systemic issues... too much waste in their workday, too little time... we can't just lecture and harangue staff.

That's already been tried and I think it ain't working...