Hand hygiene competition engages staff around germ prevention initiatives

December 22, 2015

122315HandHygiene640Texas Children’s Hand Hygiene Committee recently organized a hand hygiene contest to underscore the importance of cleaning our hands before patient contact and to improve unit-based compliance rates which will help staff achieve their house-wide goal of 95 percent compliance or higher. This awareness campaign was primarily a nurse-led initiative to ensure hand hygiene continues to remain top priority for our health care providers while effectively preventing the transmission of germs.

“We must to do everything in our power to prevent patients from getting a hospital-acquired infection,” said Texas Children’s Infection Preventionist Darleen Yepes. “Hand hygiene is simple and effective but we need to be compliant 100 percent of the time. The purpose of the contest was to engage the staff in creating a hand hygiene campaign to raise awareness at the unit level through posters and a slogan.”

Participants included frontline staff from 22 inpatient units at Texas Children’s Main Campus, the Pavilion for Women and Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. Each unit displayed their hand hygiene campaign flyer and poster at the entrance to their unit where it could be visible to doctors, nurses, therapists, patients and families.

Each unit’s hand hygiene compliance is measured by “secret” shoppers to determine how many opportunities to perform hand hygiene are met and how many opportunities are missed. Weekly and monthly compliance rates are measured and reported to the leadership team on each unit.

Our Hand Hygiene Committee members and executive leaders – Mary Jo Andre, John Nickens, Jackie Ward, Trudy Leidich, Dr. Judith Campbell and Dr. Lucy Marquez – judged the posters based on the following criteria: creativity of the hand hygiene slogan and theme, visual appeal of the images used and effectiveness of messaging content.

The first place winning unit from Main Campus/Abercrombie was the Hematology/Oncology unit from 9 West Tower. The slogan from Hematology was Germ Busters. Staff members played music and sang a catchy jingle for the judges. They also engaged patients and families. One of the mothers who wanted to reinforce hand hygiene among her family visitors came up with a cute rhyme about “cooties” and handwashing which she posted on the door and inside the patient’s room. Her sign is now posted outside every patient door on the unit as a reminder to perform hand hygiene.

The first place winning unit from Pavilion for Women/West Campus was the PFW NICU. The PFW NICU slogan was “Ask Me” if I have cleaned my hands and I’ll ask you the same.” The judges thought it was a very simple but highly effective poster because the ultimate goal is to change the culture where everyone will speak up and gently remind each other if we forget to perform hand hygiene.

“We thank all of the units for their participation,” Yepes said. “It truly reflects their commitment to helping us create a safe environment for our patients free from hospital-acquired infections by adhering to hand hygiene practices.”

Click on the photo gallery below from the hand hygiene competition.