Hand Hygiene Evolution – enhancing compliance

HARTMANN’s Hand Hygiene Evolution Concept offers tailored compliance modules to prevent Hospital Acquired Infections.

Woman on swing

Sometimes it’s the simplest things that make the difference. Hands are the number one factor in germ transmission in hospitals so the obvious solution is to make sure everyone has clean hands. Unfortunately it isn’t quite as easy as that, which is why HARTMANN has developed the Hand Hygiene Evolution Concept.

The start point is the need to reduce Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs). According to the ECDC, 4.1 million patients in Europe alone contract an infection during their treatment every year. Proper hand hygiene alone won’t eliminate HAIs but it will certainly help reduce them considerably.

The tools already exist. In HARTMANN’s case the range of Sterillium® products has been providing effective and skin-friendly hand disinfection for over 50 years. But this isn’t just about having the right products: it is about making sure they are used. The Hand Hygiene Evolution Concept is designed to address the problem of HAIs by developing appropriate hand hygiene protocols and ensuring people comply with those protocols.

The World Health Organisation’s guidelines on hand hygiene include five key components which are all included in the Hand Hygiene Evolution. They are training, evaluation and feedback, reminders in the workplace, developing an institutional safety climate and, ultimately and perhaps most importantly, system change.

The Hand Hygiene Evolution itself comes in three phases: equipment, training and clinical practice. However, we must understand the problem before suggesting the solution. So HARTMANN starts by consulting with the hospital to analyse the status quo both across the hospital and in each individual ward.

This process is about partnering with the hospital to understand what is currently happening, where the gaps are and recommending the right solution to close those gaps.

Hand Hygiene Evolution begins with the most relevant Sterillium® products – but that isn’t the end of the equipment phase. We also need to make it as easy as possible for people to actually use the disinfectant. Ideally, it should be practically unavoidable. So it needs to be accessible, eye-catching and, of course, very easy to use.

Once the equipment is in place, we run training sessions for staff about how and when to disinfect their hands. We use a combination of online and offline tools to show people the best way of making sure their hands are free of germs, which includes the five moments when you absolutely must use the disinfectant.

Bode Sterillium Euro Dispenser
Girl doing hand disinfection with sterilium

That isn’t enough on its own to ensure that people are doing the right thing in clinical practice. We have developed a digital monitoring tool – Observe App – which measures and evaluates how well people are actually complying with the protocol. We then couple the resulting analysis with the learnings from the initial consultation process to provide targeted and effective feedback.

The double check of consultation at the beginning of the process and the usage monitoring eliminates any potential weak points. The end result is a comprehensive, fully-tested hand hygiene protocol tailored for each hospital and for each individual ward.

The Hand Hygiene Concept is being launched on 1 April 2016. We are confident that our industry-leading products, deployed though our comprehensive consultation process, will help reduce the incidence of HAIs.

See how the Impulsa system, the earlier (Spanish) version of HARTMANN’s Evolution Concept implemented at Hospital Príncipe de Asturias, Spain, changed the attitude of the hospital’s employees towards hand hygiene and helped enhance the hospital’s compliance rate.

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Compliance: a challenge worth every effort