Practically speaking: Rethinking hand hygiene improvement programs in health care settings

Publication year: 2011
Source: American Journal of Infection Control, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 12 June 2011

Crystal, Son , Tina, Chuck , Teresa, Childers , Shauna, Usiak , Mary, Dowling , …

 Background: Hand hygiene is widely recognized as the single most effective means of reducing health care–associated infections. Implementing a credible hand hygiene program and maintaining high compliance among staff is both expected and required of hospitals. However, beyond general guidelines, few resources are available for establishing an institution-wide hand hygiene program that is both successful and sustainable over the long term. Methods: Beginning in 2008, we completely overhauled the approach to hand hygiene at our institution. We created small teams consisting of a representative from Quality Assessment, an Infection Prevention Practitioner, and staff from a particular unit. Teams began by discussing the current…