3 Questions to Answer Before Choosing a Hand Hygiene Measurement Program

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Deciding how and when to measure hand hygiene compliance can be a challenging task; however, addressing a few key questions before planning a hand hygiene surveillance program can assist infection preventionists and nursing officers in this endeavor. According to a monograph from The Joint Commission, the following questions should be answered before choosing a method of compliance measurement.

1. Why do you want to measure hand hygiene practices, and what are your organization's goals? A clear answer to why an organization is measuring hand hygiene can be crucial for knowing which information to collect, how and how often to collect it.

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2. What elements of hand hygiene do you want to measure? Narrowing down a measurement focus to a few key indicators is essential to the logistics of data collection.

3. How do you want to measure hand hygiene? There are three main ways to measure hand hygiene — direct observation, measuring product use and conducting surveys — each with various advantages and disadvantages. Will the organization choose one or use a combination? Which approach is best for the organization's purposes in measuring hand hygiene in the first place?

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