Drill Down to Step Up Hand Hygiene Compliance
The hand hygiene compliance tracking system, called GE AgileTrac Hand Hygiene, captures whether clinicians wash their hands or use hand sanitizers every time they enter and exit the room. Radio-frequency identification tags are placed on every person's badge, and every soap and hand sanitizer dispenser has an RFID reading device that activates when someone pulls the lever to wash his or her hands. Every room is also equipped with sensors; when an employee enters and exits the room, he or she has 30 seconds to use the hand sanitizer or soap dispenser to be marked as compliant.
Transparency to engage clinicians
Hand hygiene compliance data is tracked in real time and displayed on dashboards for leaders to reference and share with clinicians. Being transparent with the data is critical for engaging clinicians in the improvement initiative and promoting a culture of safety, according to Mr. Caputo. "[The data] give us a foundation for dialogue on what we can do better; it allows us to engage with individuals over a trend," he says.
Using the data as a starting point for conversation about hand hygiene, patient safety and infection control can help leaders identify successful strategies that can be shared with other individuals and departments. For example, speaking with clinicians in a department with high hand hygiene compliance may reveal tips other departments can use to improve their compliance rates. "For individuals who do a good job, we try to understand if they did something different from their peers in their workflow that we can share with others. For [individuals] not doing well, we try to understand why they're struggling to get to the level where others are and give them the tools to improve," Mr. Caputo says.
Supporting a culture of safety
The hand hygiene compliance technology is designed not only to improve compliance rates, but also to support a culture of safety. "My goal is to make it part of the culture, not to be simply a rollout of technology or an initiative," Mr. Caputo says. "The technology and data are valuable in reinforcing that culture."
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