- Encourage good hand hygiene. This should be obvious, but hospitals are struggling to achieve compliance rates of even 50%. One study has found significant improvement by appealing to medical providers’ altruistic sense: “Hand hygiene prevents patients from catching diseases.”1
- Embrace checklists. If they work for airline pilots, they can work for you. Study after study has supported their effectiveness, particularly in preventing CLABSIs and CAUTIs when well-integrated into a multifaceted approach.
- Bundle up. A bundled approach that emphasized proper hand hygiene, disinfection, catheter avoidance, and timely removal cut CLABSI rates by morethan half, on average, in Veterans Administration ICUs throughout the U.S.2
- Team up. For a C. diff-reduction effort at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Santa Clara, Calif., success meant getting doctors, nurses, specialists, and administrators on board, both to brainstorm and to sustain momentum.
- Be a role model. Consistently following HAI-prevention protocols, such as contact precautions, can make adherence contagious—in a very good way.
- Be an innovator. By virtue of being ubiquitous in inpatient wards, hospitalists know what works and what doesn’t; your insight can be particularly valuable for a team-based, HAI-reduction effort.
- Grant AM, Hofmann DA. It’s not all about me: Motivating hospital hand hygiene by focusing on patients. Psychol Sci. 2011;22:1494-1499.
- Render ML, Hasselbeck R, Freyberg RW, Hofer TP, et al. Reduction of central line infections in Veterans Administration intensive care units: an observational cohort using a central infrastructure to support learning and improvement. BMJ Qual Saf. 2011;20(8):725-732.