Staff members from 11 South accept the High Five for Clean Hands trophy from Kate Wilkinson at a celebration on May 3. The 11 South team won the trophy in a friendly competition with 11 North during the month of April.

To coincide with World Hand Hygiene Day (May 5), Infection Control along with staff on the 11th floor celebrated their commitment to hand hygiene this week. The 11 North and 11 South units, along with 10 North at Mount Sinai Hopsital, are participating in a multi-centre study using new electronic hand hygiene monitoring technology.

Five hospitals are participating in the study and the overall objectives are to:

  • Reduce the number of nosocomial infections, and
  • Increase and sustain our hand hygiene compliance using e-Monitoring technology in order to improve patient outcomes via creative change ideas.

“Practicing effective hand hygiene is an essential component in providing exceptional patient care and is critical to protecting our patients from infection,” says Liz McCreight, Director, Infection Prevention and Control. “This new technology is a tool that empowers us to better understand hand hygiene rates so we can improve patient safety.”

Since their enrollment in the study, clinicians on the three units have been implementing initiatives to improve their hand hygiene compliance. This week’s celebration was an opportunity to celebrate their hard work—and reveal the results of a friendly hand hygiene rate competition between 11 North and 11 South.

Throughout the month of April the two units worked to improve hand hygiene rates on their units by actively piloting various quality improvement initiatives. They engaged staff, patients and visitors to clean their hands in an effort to raise awareness and to remove any barriers to practicing hand hygiene. These initiatives included the deployment of additional point of care dispensers by patient bedsides and hand hygiene announcements for weekend staff.

“This truly was an interdisciplinary team effort, which active participation from nurses, allied health, volunteers, and environmental services,” says Diana, Heng, Nursing Unit Administrator.

At this week’s celebration, 11 South was announced as the winner of the competition and presented the “High Five for Clean Hands” trophy. Both units saw increases in their hand hygiene compliance when compared to the previous month.

“We’re excited and proud of the progress we’ve made so far in improving hand hygiene compliance with the support of Infection Prevention and Control. We’re looking forward to continuing our work with them,” says Christina Fabbruzzo-Cota, Nursing Unit Administrator for 11 South.

“It’s exciting to see the enthusiasm for hand hygiene on these units. The teams should be proud of what they’ve achieved. Their positive energy and momentum will help us in spreading hand hygiene awareness to units across the hospital,” says Kate Wilkinson, Vice President, Quality and Clinical programs.

Over the coming months, Infection Control along with the three study units will continue to pilot locally driven quality improvement initiatives. Infection Control will continue to increase hand hygiene awareness across the hospital. This spring look for new hand hygiene posters featuring your colleagues! Should you have any suggestions or questions regarding hand hygiene, talk to a member of the Infection Control team. Thank you for your commitment to in providing the best possible care and improving patient safety.

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