The Power of Individual Data

By Chris Hermann

Individual hand hygiene performance within a hospital unit can vary widely. The Performance Bubble Plots™ below – including real data – show this. Each bubble represents a healthcare provider on a unit. The size of the bubble indicates the number of hand hygiene opportunities they’ve had over a month’s time – larger bubbles indicate more patient room entrances and exits. The color of the bubble shows hand hygiene performance – darker red is lower and darker green is higher.

Now, prior to our Real-Time Voice Reminder™ being turned on, a typical unit will have quite a few pink and red bubbles, meaning hand hygiene performance is lower than it should be. But once we turn on the voice reminder, most of the bubbles turn green, meaning clinicians are responding when they’re prompted to clean their hands (more about this).

That said, there are typically a few individuals that continue to struggle, and that’s where Performance Bubble Plots really come in handy. Not only do they identify lower performers, but they also pinpoint those with the greatest risk of spreading an infection due to a higher number of missed hand hygiene opportunities.

Before & After

Above is a real example. The visual on the left shows a unit with one individual called out – we’ll call her Provider Pat (the real name has been grayed out). She was one of the busiest providers during this month, with 1170 opportunities to clean her hands. But she only did so 30% of the time, which falls very short of the hospital’s expectations.

The unit manager observed Provider Pat in action and sat down with her. There were some gaps in her understanding of the hospital’s hand hygiene policy that were quickly rectified in a conversation. She also had some workflow issues that were addressed fairly easily.

The visual on the right shows the same unit after these interventions. The bubble that’s called out is again Provider Pat – the same person whose hand hygiene rate had been 30%. In this month, her hand hygiene had more than doubled to 70%, despite the fact that she was much busier. She had 1839 hand hygiene opportunities, a 57% increase!

While it’s rewarding to see how quickly and dramatically an individual clinician can improve, the real lesson here is that hospitals are flying blind without this kind of data. Most hospitals have no idea what each provider’s hand hygiene rate is, nor how great a risk they each are, nor how to solve any problems. The Clean Hands – Safe Hands system makes it simple to see patterns and trends that may be worrisome, allowing them to be easily solved and keeping patients safer.

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 60%, download our free white paper now. Or contact us so we can discuss your hospital’s specific needs.

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