A Personal Best Approach (Phase 4 of our Hand Hygiene Acceleration Pathway)

By Chris Hermann

It takes more than just technology to increase hand hygiene performance and reduce HAIs. The technology needs to be paired with a process that leads to culture change and sustainable results. We start creating a positive culture in phase 3, which includes fun group competitions. This important foundation sets the tone for the organization by establishing a basic level of accountability in a fun and competitive environment.

In phase 4, we take our competitions a step further by introducing individual competitions.

Our technology allows us to collect hand hygiene performance data on both individuals and groups simultaneously. It’s easy for everyone in the hospital to know how they’re doing. In addition to viewing their performance compared to their peers, they can also try to beat their own score day after day.

By this time, we can see a widespread dichotomy in hand hygiene performers. We typically have some people below 10% (percentage of time cleaning their hands upon patient room entrance and exit) and others above 95%. In order to address hand hygiene and reduce HAIs, it’s vitally important to understand and address the individuals who have not responded to the previous hand hygiene interventions.

And it’s equally important to publicly acknowledge and reward top performers. Not only do they serve as role models for their coworkers, but this entire process helps establish the importance of positive accountability and patient safety.

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