The Impact of Clinician-Based Support for Hand Hygiene Improvement

John Lerner


By John Lerner

SMARTLINK™ Solutions Business Development Vice President

Tight budgets and limited resources are familiar challenges for hospital infection prevention teams. There are always multiple priorities competing for funding and leadership support. Sustaining a focused hand hygiene initiative to reduce healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) can help improve patient safety, protect reimbursements and positively affect hospital ratings—but proving these benefits to key decision makers is often difficult.

GOJO Clinical Application Specialists and Programs help hospital-based infection preventionists identify, plan and execute targeted performance improvement initiatives—and demonstrate value to leadership through comprehensive assessment and analysis.

Three Steps to Smarter Hand Hygiene

1. Comprehensive Hand Hygiene Assessment
Understanding the challenge ahead of you is critical to sustained hand hygiene improvement. The average hand hygiene compliance rate at U.S. hospitals is believed to be below 50%1.  However, reported rates can be significantly inflated by the Hawthorne Effect. This lack of objective data clouds leadership’s view of actual performance—and obscures the impact of successful performance improvement initiatives. 

GOJO SMARTLINK™ Solutions clinician-based support helps overcome this obstacle with a comprehensive evaluation of hand hygiene involving on-site interviews and observations. Based on this assessment, clinicians develop a targeted improvement plan and work with hospital staff to ensure successful implementation.

2. Education and Just-in-Time Coaching
Clinicians help identify barriers preventing optimal hand hygiene performance and work with hospital staff to find practical solutions. Peer-level coaching directly supports improvement by providing expert guidance at the time and place it is needed most.

Healthcare workers also receive education based on the 5 RIGHTS OF HAND HYGIENE™ to ensure that everyone understands what the best practices are and why it’s important to apply them every day.

3. Data-Driven Performance Improvement
Guided by insights from SMARTLINK™ Solutions electronic monitoring technology, GOJO Clinical Application Specialists facilitate a 12-week performance improvement project tailored to the needs and goals of the hospital. Dedicated engagement and support is critical to keeping the project moving since leadership and frontline workers alike will always have their attention divided by competing priorities.

Equally important, the SMARTLINK™ Solutions clinician-based support program provides a model for a sustainable, repeatable cycle of performance improvement. Raising compliance rates isn’t a one-time project—it’s a long-term commitment. GOJO clinicians equip hospital infection preventionists with the knowledge and tools they’ll need for ongoing success.

Do More with SMARTLINK™ Solutions

Healthcare workers will continue facing pressure to do more to prevent HAIs. SMARTLINK™ Solutions help hospitals achieve this goal by combining clinical expertise and hand hygiene science with powerful monitoring technology and data-driven performance improvement strategies, including Six Sigma processes.

Other innovative features that help hospitals execute hand hygiene initiatives more effectively include GOJO SMARTLINK™ Service Alerts. This back-end solution captures data on building traffic and dispenser status and provides real-time updates to the facility’s management and cleaning staff. In turn, predictive and proactive servicing eliminates inefficiencies and waste—and ensures that trusted hand hygiene products are always available when needed.

Take action to help reduce HAIs—find out how SMARTLINK™ Solutions can empower your hospital’s infection prevention team.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guideline for hand hygiene in health-care settings: recommendations of the healthcare infection control practices advisory committee and the HICPAC/SHEA/APIC/IDSA hand hygiene task force. MMWR 2002;51(No. RR-16:22).

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