The ABCs of Hand Hygiene: C is for Craziness

By Chris Hermann

Why don’t healthcare providers clean their hands every time they should? In our experience, it comes down to the “ABCs”:

  • Awareness
  • Busyness
  • Craziness

We’ve already covered Awareness and Busyness, and will discuss Craziness today.

There can be a lot of craziness between specific patients and particular providers during any given shift. That is to say, there can be unusual situations that pop up either due to staffing factors, patient factors, or both. Risky patterns can develop and then disappear within a 12-hour shift.

Here’s a real example. The Real-Time Intervention Blueprint™ below shows hand hygiene performance (darker green is higher; darker red is lower), the number of hand hygiene opportunities (larger shapes mean more clinician entries and exits), and patient condition (circle is normal; plus sign is isolation) at-a-glance.

Here’s the data for a unit’s overnight shift recently.

Above, hand hygiene is pretty good overall, but there are a few rooms (including an isolation room at upper right) that are pink, meaning providers aren’t cleaning their hands often enough and there’s a risk of an infection spreading.

Here’s the same unit the following morning, following a shift change.

The rooms that were previously pink (struggling with hand hygiene) are now green, while some formerly green rooms (good hand hygiene) have since turned pink. The latter includes another isolation room (on the left), which is a concern.

Before installing the Clean Hands – Safe Hands system, hospitals had no way to see these patterns. More importantly, they had no way to put a stop to any negative trends. What was previously invisible has been made visible, and it’s now possible to quickly put a stop to crazy, risky situations.

If you’d like to learn more about how our electronic hand hygiene reminder system provides this kind of data and decreases HAIs by over 66%, download our free white paper now. Or contact us so we can discuss your hospital’s specific needs.

This post is part of a series on The ABCs of Hand Hygiene.

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