How a military approach helped a facility achieve a 95%+ hand hygiene compliance rate: 3 key insights

An approach borrowed from the military helped improve hand hygiene compliance at a healthcare facility, according to a study in the Journal of Patient Safety.

Hand hygiene compliance among healthcare workers remains between 30 percent and 70 percent at most facilities.

Researchers borrowed an approach known as a stand-down from the military. They examined the effects of a 15-minute-long, hospital-wide safety stand-down. During the stand-down all non-essential activity was suspended. Instead, at that time, action plans to improve hand hygiene compliance were discussed.

All hospital departments were asked to submit written action plans, after which hand hygiene compliance monitoring was increased. Additionally, those who were not complying were required to speak to senior hospital administration.

Here are three key insights:

1. Compliance increased from less than 65 percent to greater than 95 percent.

2. The high compliance rate has been sustained for three-and-a-half years.

3. The study authors concluded that a healthcare safety stand-down can be an effective way to improve and sustain hand hygiene compliance.

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