The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for healthcare staff and managers to focus on the importance of improving hand hygiene in hospitals on “WHO SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands Day!,” May 5, 2013. For this annual event, the WHO enlists the support of leading global suppliers of infection prevention solutions for hospitals to participate in spreading the hand hygiene message.
“This one-day event calls to attention something that is imperative 365 days a year – something we ardently pursue to help save lives – compliant hand hygiene in clinics and hospitals, which is as simple as effective hand washing at the designated moments,” said Heather McLarney, Vice President of Marketing, DebMed. “We want to empower both healthcare workers and patients and their families with the knowledge that can ultimately help them avoid healthcare-associated infections. The first step is to adopt the ‘Clean Your Hands Day Pledge’ which highlights the ‘WHO Five Moments of Hand Hygiene.’
Evaluation and repeated monitoring of practices, knowledge and perceptions are vital components of any successful hand hygiene campaign. The WHO is actively encouraging hospitals to learn more about innovative electronic systems for the automatic monitoring of hand hygiene compliance. According to the WHO, "These new technologies present numerous advantages and may become the future approach to hand hygiene compliance monitoring when available resources permit, and provided that they can reflect the five moments for hand hygiene." The DebMed Group Monitoring System (GMS) is the only electronic hand hygiene monitoring system designed around the WHO Five Moments of Hand Hygiene.
Access to WHO resources, including monitoring and feedback tools, self-assessment framework, action plan template and hand hygiene training films can be found on the following Deb website. The May 5 Pledge includes a handout copy of the WHO Five Moments of Hand Hygiene for healthcare workers along with three important reminders to help maintain hand hygiene compliance.
As part of a major global effort to improve hand hygiene in healthcare, the “Save Lives: Clean Your Hands” campaign was launched in 2009 and is a natural extension of the WHO’s “First Global Patient Safety Challenge: Clean Care is Safer Care.” Less than one percent of hospitals currently abide by the WHO’s recommended guidelines, which suggest washing your hands before patient contact, before aseptic task, after body fluid exposure risk, after patient contact and after contact with patient surroundings.
At any time, more than 1.4 million patients worldwide are suffering from HAIs. Proper hand hygiene is the number one way to prevent HAIs. However, the WHO Guideline reported that after completing a systematic review of 77 peer-reviewed hand hygiene articles published between 1981 and 2008, the baseline hand hygiene compliance rate was only 38.7 percent – and few followed the “Five Moments” as their observation criteria.
The DebMed GMS electronically monitors healthcare workers’ hand hygiene events and provides feedback on compliance rates in real-time, and provides an accurate, cost-effective solution for fighting HAIs. The DebMed GMS is based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) “Five Moments for Hand Hygiene” and is now the only hand hygiene system that meets the WHO’s “Save Lives: Clean Your Hands” recommendation.
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