• Measuring Patient Care


    Hand Hygiene

    hygiene-poster.jpgA poster from Dana-Farber's ongoing hand hygiene campaign 

    Why do we measure hand hygiene?

    Hand hygiene is the most effective way to prevent the spread of infection in hospitals.

    Improved hand hygiene (i.e., hand washing and use of alcohol-based hand rubs) has been shown to terminate outbreaks in health care facilities and to reduce overall infection rates.

    Staff monitors hand-washing practices in the adult infusion units at Dana-Farber.

    How do we prevent transmission of infections?

    • Make it easier to clean hands
    • Educate staff about the importance of clean hands
    • Have clear support from Dana-Farber leadership
    • Increase observations and feedback to staff
    • Empower staff to remind one another to wash their hands
    • Encourage family members and visitors to clean their hands
    • Empower patients, family members, and visitors to remind health care providers to wash their hands

    How are we doing?

    hand-hygiene-longwood.jpgThe graph to the left displays data over time for Fiscal Year 2008 (October 2007 through September 2008). This data reflects observations done in three Adult Infusion areas.

    What are we doing to improve?

    Some of the interventions to improve hand hygiene:

    • Hand hygiene pump stations have been placed in many new locations in the clinics.
    • Observation times of hand hygiene activities have been expanded to capture even more clinics and staff.
    • A team of "hand hygiene champions" has been formed to increase awareness of the necessity and times that hand hygiene should be performed.
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