7 key strategies to bolster hand hygiene compliance

Healthcare facilities often struggle with ensuring staff is hand hygiene compliant. A recent study found a 57 percent hand hygiene compliance rate among those staff members monitored by infection prevention nurses. However, compliance rate fell to 22 percent when young volunteers monitored the staff, indicating Hawthorne Effect is prevalent at healthcare faciltiies.

Eleanor Feldman Barbera, PhD, a long-term care consultant, outlines seven ways facilities can improve hand hygiene compliance, according to McKnight’s.

Here are seven strategies:

1. Publishing each unit of you facility’s hand washing rates. This will spark competition, and reward the unit that has the highest rate.

2. Put up posters articulating hand hygiene is a team effort. Staff should get the message that all members are hand hygiene compliant, and failing to do so would make them an outlier.

3. Send employees with low compliance rates messages, directly. This will let them know you are aware of their compliance rates, and will spur them to modify their behavior.

4. Purchase lotions and hand soaps that smell pleasant so staff will want to use them.

5. Ensure your dispensers are always filled, and also have back-up dispensers available.

6. Have posters reminding patients to ask whether their providers are hand hygiene compliant.

7. Point out those members who make compliance a priority.

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