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New efforts put a focus on hand hygiene

For All The Lives We Touch

At a recent summit meeting attended by members of Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital’s medical staff and Leadership Council, the focus was on hand hygiene and improving compliance rates among staff at all levels.

The hand hygiene policy at BWFH has long been to wash with soap and water or use a hand sanitizing gel before and after every patient interaction. However, during recent observations, our compliance rate proved to be far below where we want it to be. Led by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Peggy Duggan and Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer Cori Loescher, MM, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, the Hand Hygiene Summit kicked off a multidisciplinary effort to increase our hospital-wide hand hygiene compliance rate to 90 percent by the end of this year.

“We all know how important it is to practice proper hand hygiene,” says Loescher. “It is a critical part of keeping our patients, their families and each other healthy and safe.”

To help hospital leadership increase proper hand hygiene in their areas, a new toolkit was introduced during the summit. Those materials are available to all staff on BWFHconnect.org. Attendees were also asked to complete at least 10 hand hygiene observations per week and input the data into a new, easy-to-use app that will help us better track our progress.

Finally, a special video presentation highlighted the importance of both giving and receiving constructive feedback around proper hand hygiene. The video, which stars Chief of Surgery Dr. Pardon Kenney and Chief of Medicine Dr. Scott Schissel, can be seen here.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to improve our compliance rates,” says Dr. Duggan. “In our Just Culture it’s also everyone’s responsibility to practice proper hand hygiene ourselves and to model the appropriate use of feedback.”

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