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Ideas That Work: Handwashing Sheriff
The Ticket to Better Hand Hygiene
OSD Staff
Publish Date: September 3, 2015   |  Tags:   Ideas That Work
getting a ticket for cutting corners CAUGHT DIRTY-HANDED Surgeons and staff members both need to come clean if they're caught.

Handwashing Sheriff
The Ticket to Better Hand Hygiene

We've introduced an element of fun into our handwashing surveillance initiatives, and we've seen some significant improvement as a result. Every month, one anonymous staff member is assigned to be the hand-washing sheriff. The sheriff's job is to keep one eye wide open for hand-hygiene opportunities and practices, and to write down whether people are doing all the things they're supposed to be doing. Anyone seen cutting corners is given a ticket (hand-washing instructions) and a reminder.

Before we started, our compliance needed a boost, especially with surgeons, who often failed to wash their hands after removing their gloves. But no one — not even surgeons — can escape the long arm (and clean hands) of the law. Thanks to our sheriffs, we've cleaned up our act.

Christine Riedel, RN, BS, CASC
Park Ten Surgical Center
Houston, Texas
[email protected]