There’s no question that hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are a challenge for medical facilities. All major agencies agree that proper hand hygiene is the cornerstone of infection control. But how can you improve your hospital’s hand hygiene?
Clean Hands – Safe Hands uses a systematic, six phase process that leverages technology to drive behavioral change and deliver value to hospitals along the journey to HAI reduction. It has more than tripled hand hygiene performance rates in many hospitals across the country. More importantly, it has reduced HAIs by 75%. And in two particular facilities, C. diff infections alone dropped by 80%, representing a net savings of over $1M per facility.
How does the process work? We’ll be covering each of our six phases in detail in separate posts over time. In the meantime, here’s an overview.
Phase 1: Setting the Foundation
Our hand hygiene performance system is installed and quietly gathers data in the background to accurately set a baseline of your facility’s true hand hygiene performance. The data collected during this time period also provides a detailed look into the staff’s current workflows and timings, which we use to tailor technology to each unit’s specific processes and patient needs.
Phase 2: The Voice of Teamwork
Our Natural Language Voice Reminder™ is turned on. If a clinician fails to clean their hands when entering or exiting a patient room, a gentle voice tells them to “Please sanitize” (exact wording can be customized by the facility). The voice only sounds when a provider forgets to perform hand hygiene in accordance with the hospital’s policies. If a clinician questions why they’re hearing a voice during a particular instance, this is an important opportunity to educate them on hospital policies.
Phase 3: Building the Culture
As buy-in grows, we work with unit leadership to select hand hygiene champions who will help build engagement and promote the program internally. Competitions and incentives that positively reward teams (shifts, units, or roles) are effective in building engagement with the system and driving hand hygiene performance even higher.
Phase 4: Personal Best Approach
Competitions and recognition shift from group- based to individual-focused. During this phase, we talk with the top performers to uncover their “secrets to success” and use their feedback to help other staff members in the next phase. This not only allows us to work with specific individuals to improve habits that are affecting group performance, but we also work with you to instill best practices in your daily operations across all staff members and units.
Phase 5: Analysis and Action
We leverage the effort we have put into improving the performance of most of the clinicians and identify a small, manageable subset of people who need a little extra help. The data our system collects identifies workflow challenges and educational gaps to performance improvement and provides insights into how to overcome these challenges. We work with you on workflow analytics to find ways for your clinicians to be more efficient.
Phase 6: Organism-Specific Targeting
We’re able to analyze hand hygiene performance rates for rooms with specific organisms (C. diff, MRSA, MDROs, etc.). We pinpoint problem areas here, and use tools from earlier phases to target improvement for specific organisms or patient situations that may need extra attention.
This process consistently leads to hand hygiene performance rates that double or triple. More importantly, it reduces HAIs, saves money, and – best of all – saves lives.