World Hand Hygiene Day focuses on keeping our patients safe, healthy

May 1, 2018

Hand hygiene is key in keeping our kids healthy and on the road to a speedy recovery here at Texas Children’s. That’s why on Saturday, May 5 – World Hand Hygiene Day – leaders are asking providers to take a close look at whether they are cleaning their hands frequently and properly.

“Practicing hand hygiene is a simple yet effective way to prevent infections,” said Director of Quality and Safety Elaine Whaley. “Cleaning your hands can prevent the spread of germs, including those that are resistant to antibiotics and are becoming difficult, if not impossible, to treat.”

On average, health care providers across the nation clean their hands less than half of the times they should, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a result, about one in 25 hospital patients, on any given day, has at least one health care-associated infection.

At Texas Children’s, we strive for a hand-hygiene compliance rate of 95 percent or higher. So far this fiscal year, we have an average compliance rate of 88 percent. Compliance is measured by “secret” shoppers to determine how many opportunities to perform hand hygiene are met and how many opportunities are missed.

“Practicing good hand hygiene is the right thing to do for our patients and their families,” said Dr. Judith Campbell with Infectious Disease. “It reduces the transmission of organisms and infections while they are receiving our care.”

Learn more about how and when to properly wash your hands by clicking on the infographic above, and stay tuned for more information about competitions and additional educational opportunities for front line clinical workers for whom this information is so important.