Hand hygiene involves more than hand cleaning. Hand hygiene is a comprehensive, enterprise-wide process that embraces assessment, implementation, training and education, monitoring and ongoing communication and promotion among healthcare workers, patients, family members and hospital visitors.
Assessment begins with the discovery of what important entities such as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, demand and expect of healthcare organizations). The World Health Organization’s Hand Hygiene Self-assessment Framework offers evaluative questions in five areas: system change, evaluation and feedback, training and education, reminders in the workplace, and development of safety climate for hand hygiene.
By relying on the assessment framework, which was developed in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), healthcare organizations can generate scores for each section, along with an overall facility score on hand hygiene progress. Using these scores, executives and managers can discuss hand hygiene improvement strategies with physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and infection control committee members.
Equally important is discovering how much healthcare workers know about hand hygiene. The Hand Hygiene Knowledge Assessment Questionnaire from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) presents a series of seven true–false and multiple choice questions focused on these areas:
1. Indications for hand cleaning
2. How antibiotic resistant pathogens spread between patients
3. Most effective methods of hand cleaning
4. Infection transmission from patients to staff
5. Clostridium difficile (the cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea)
6. Pathogens must likely to survive in the patient environment
7. Alcohol-based hand hygiene products
You and your organization can use questions like these in tests that precede and follow education and training modules. They can also draw on answers to make decisions about learning opportunities in hand hygiene—from seminars and forums, to one-on-one coaching and online tutorials. In response to information gathered from the tutorials, healthcare organizations could develop education and training program organized around the WHO’s Five Moments for Hand Hygiene. Healthcare organizations might then want to consult the WHO’s tools for training and education, as well as the Hand Hygiene Interactive Course from the CDC.
Only through assessment will you know where you stand on hand hygiene compliance. Evaluation of organizational performance and staff knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and perceptions are first steps in making accurate, evidence-based decisions on hand hygiene implementation, training and education and measurement.
International Infection Prevention Week 2013 & DebMed
In recognition of, and to shed much needed light on International Infection Prevention Week (Oct 20-26), this is one in a series of blog articles from DebMed dedicated to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Five Moments for Hand Hygiene. To view all articles in this series as they become available, please click here.
DebMed is the creator of the world’s first electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring system based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Five Moments for Hand Hygiene, and these moments dictate our standards for hand hygiene compliance in a tireless effort to decrease the spread of preventable and deadly hospital-acquired infections.
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