Sparrow Hospital Implements Initiative to Improve Hand Hygiene

Posted on May 03, 2018

A antiseptic hand sanitizer dispenser at Sparrow Hospital. May 5 is World Hand Hygiene Day. Hand hygiene is commonly referred to as the most critical component of infection prevention. However, studies show that healthcare professionals wash their hands much less frequently than they should, which often results in the spread of hospital-acquired infections.

In fact, roughly 2 million patients in the U.S. get a hospital-acquired infection each year, 99,000 of whom die from their infection, according to the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare (CTH).

Hand hygiene is defined as washing one’s hands with water and soap or antiseptic hand sanitizers.

In 2017, Lansing-based Sparrow Hospital pledged to improve its hand hygiene compliance and make hand hygiene a primary focus within its facility.

First, top healthcare executives at Sparrow made it a quality-centered, strategic goal for the year. Next, Sparrow formed a task force to develop methods to increase compliance and determine specific types of data to collect in the hospital.

The task force then selected the CTH Targeted Solutions Tool for Hygiene to provide Sparrow leaders with a step-by-step guide to measure performance, recognize barriers and offer solutions. The education and guidelines were disseminated to staff via Newsbreak, the daily Sparrow employee newsletter, and unit-based huddles.

The CTH Targeted Solutions Tool for Hand Hygiene provides hospitals with a model for systematic change by providing three specific dashboards – project, baseline and improved – to show benchmark data, display results from baseline data collection, and showcase the impact of the targeted solutions that were implemented.

The compliance data was presented regularly during Sparrow’s Daily Safety Check, noting whether hand washing had increased or decreased and whether units were above or below the compliance goal.

Adherence to the new hand hygiene processes and programs within Sparrow Hospital ultimately led to improving and sustaining the hospital’s overall compliance to a rate above the national average and increased the goal for its compliance rate in 2018.


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  • Sparrow Hospital Implements Initiative to Improve Hand Hygiene

Tags: MHA Keystone Center, Patient Safety and Quality, infection control, hand hygiene

Posted in: Patient Safety & Quality

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