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Workflow Process Enhancement (Phase 5 of our Hand Hygiene Acceleration Pathway)

By Chris Hermann

You can’t just install technology into a complex organization and expect it to significantly change people’s behavior. In order to enable sustainable change, the technology needs to be paired with a process that drives a culture of positive, continual improvement in order to be successful. Simply monitoring hand hygiene isn’t enough.

By the time our hospital partners get to Phase 5 of our Hand Hygiene Acceleration Pathway, we’ve established a solid foundation of hand hygiene improvement, and we’ve gathered a lot of valuable data. (Read here about Phase 2, Phase 3 and Phase 4, which follow Phase 1, where we’re simply gathering baseline data.)

During Phase 5, we’re using the data we’ve gathered to implement workflow process enhancement. Typically, by this stage, the vast majority of clinicians have successfully improved their hand hygiene performance, and the hospital is already seeing a decrease in HAIs. But there are always a minority of clinicians who are struggling to improve. Our system can identify who they are – next, we work with hospital leadership to identify why they’re struggling.

Most of the time, what’s holding a handful of clinicians back from improving their hand hygiene performance is either a workflow issue or an educational opportunity. We encourage hospital leadership to have positive conversations with staff and encourage them to help be part of the solution. We use our data to predict why the person has not responded to the previous interventions and help guide the conversation.

Maybe she’s the hardest-working nurse on the unit, who’s in and out of patient rooms 300 times per shift. Or maybe he’s a dedicated technician that doesn’t plan ahead as well as he could, so he has to leave a patient’s room multiple times to get supplies. Or perhaps there’s an education issue and she simply doesn’t know that she’s supposed to sanitize after she takes her gloves off.

Positive, encouraging, one-on-one conversations with those struggling can help them over the hurdle so overall performance will continue to climb, and HAIs will continue to decrease.

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