International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) has arrived. The annual effort raises awareness of the critical role infection prevention plays in improving patient safety, and this year’s theme is “Antibiotic Resistance,” one of the biggest global health threats facing the world today.
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than two million people in North America become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and that at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections.
Hand hygiene is the most effective measure for preventing healthcare-associated infections. Considering the role of contact transfer via the hands of healthcare workers, it’s critical that healthcare facilities embrace formal hand hygiene programs using evidence-based practices. After all, when healthcare professionals actively engage in infection prevention measures, including hand hygiene protocols, it’s possible to reduce the rates of certain HAIs by more than 70 percent, according to the CDC.
To help reduce the prevalence of HAIs and increase patient safety, DebMed supports healthcare facilities’ efforts to implement successful hand hygiene performance improvements. In honor of IIPW, we’re encouraging healthcare institutions to consider these proven tactics:
4 Hand Hygiene Tips
- Remind. Reinforce hand hygiene education efforts with hospital staff by posting reminders in staff breakrooms, restrooms, locker rooms and other high-visibility locations. Reminder discussions should also take place during every meeting whether individual or all-staff.
- Top-down Commitment. Employees are more likely to comply with hand hygiene protocols if they witness hospital leaders doing the same. Encouraging leadership to demonstrate commitment by practicing good hand hygiene, as well as communicating its importance to staff, can help foster a culture of compliance.
- Track and Report. Electronic monitoring programs provide powerful information that healthcare professionals can use to understand, track and improve their hand hygiene performance. The data can complement the use of observations for real-time coaching and feedback. Consider implementing an electronic hand hygiene compliance system that has been clinically proven to improve hand hygiene performance and reduce HAIs.
- Share Results. Share consistent and reliable data correlating HAI rates to hand hygiene compliance rates with employees so they can visualize the direct impact of hand hygiene on lower incidences of infection. Clinically validated data lends credibility to the message and has been shown to lead to higher performance.
This year, join IIPW and DebMed in helping prevent the spread of HAIs and antibiotic resistance by encouraging hand hygiene performance improvement in the healthcare environment. With the simple act of appropriate hand-washing, healthcare professionals can continue to create a culture of patient safety, provide a higher standard of care, and reduce and prevent healthcare-associated infections.
To learn more about DebMed’s hand hygiene solutions for hospital facilities, click on the buttons below - Canada or USA.