Hand hygiene is an important factor is reducing the spread of disease. As NHRMC continues its quest for zero harm, the NHRMC Infection Prevention Control Department will begin a system-wide hand hygiene initiative.
Over the years IPC has provided data to the nursing units as well as monthly reports to the Medical Staff committee. Moving forward, departments will now have a standard huddle board poster where new data is displayed each month. This transparent view will allow us to address areas of concern and celebrate areas of success.
The promotion will kick off on Monday, January 6, and will focus on the correct methods of washing and sanitizing hands for employees, patients and visitors.
“The importance of hand hygiene cannot be overstated,” said Dr. West Paul, NHRMC’s Chief Clinical Officer. “We have all been taught when and how to wash our hands, so we must be diligent in our efforts to ensure that we are washing thoroughly and frequently to provide the best possible care to our patients.”
Washing hands can prevent the spread of germs that cause gastrointestinal infections, such as Salmonella, and respiratory infections, such as influenza. It also can prevent the spread of c. diff.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends washing your hands:
- After touching bed rails, tables, remote controls, or phones
- After touching doorknobs
- After using the restroom
- Before touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- Before eating
- Before and after changing bandages
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
The handwashing initiative is one plank of NHRMC’s overall commitment to quality and patient safety. Reducing preventable harm is one of NHRMC’s organizational goals in Fiscal Year 2020.
“This initiative is integral to our success as a health system,” Dr. Paul said. “Our patients deserve the very best care we can offer, and this relatively simple act can make a significant impact. We are tracking the statistics, but remember that those numbers represent our patients. Every time you wash your hands, you are reducing the chance that one of your patients will get an infection.”