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Hand Hygiene Enforcement Done Right
Designated auditors, frequent and formal evaluations and a top-down culture of compliance are the keys to success.
Jared Bilski | Managing Editor
Publish Date: May 23, 2022   |  Tags:   Infection Prevention Workplace Culture
Hand Hygiene
HANDS-ON ENFORCEMENT To bolster facility-wide hand hygiene, you want staff to assume that somebody is always watching to see if they’re complying with protocols.

Every time Lauren Bryan, RN, notices an OR team member following her facility’s robust hand hygiene protocols, she makes it a point to verbally acknowledge the compliance she just witnessed. It’s positive recognition, sure. But there’s a more subtle reason for the shout out, as well. “It lets staff know we’re always watching and paying attention,” says Ms. Bryan, infection prevention program manager at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs, Colo.

This example encapsulates the challenges surgical facility leaders face when it comes to hand hygiene compliance. This crucial but often overlooked area of infection prevention requires leaders to walk a delicate balance between positive reinforcement and gentle corrective action — with an emphasis on the “gentle” aspect of rectifying compliance mishaps. “When it comes to hand hygiene, we’re not punitive, but we are very conscientious,” says Crystal Corfman, BSN, RN, CNOR, clinical director at PSB Surgery Center in Falls Church, Va.

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