The healthcare industry is not yet at zero when it comes to healthcare-associated infections—and that’s a problem. Hand hygiene compliance remains a major cause.
The Joint Commission addresses that problem with the Hand Hygiene Targeted Solutions Tool (TST), an online application that guides the user through collecting and analyzing data, with suggested solutions based on the root causes revealed. “It’s based on robust process improvement, what we refer to as RPI, that brings in Lean, Six Sigma, and change management,” says Erin DuPree, MD, chief medical officer and vice president, The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare.
The tool was tested in a pilot program summarized in an article in the January 2016 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety, “Hand Hygiene Tool Linked to Decrease in Health Care-Associated Infections at Memorial Hermann Health System,” by M. Michael Shabot, MD, of Memorial Hermann Health System, Mark R. Chassin, MD, MPP, MPH, of The Joint Commission, and their co-authors. In more than 31,600 observations, the organization’s average hand hygiene compliance improved from 58.1% to 95.6%. Rates of central line–associated bloodstream infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia in adult ICUs decreased by 49% and 45%, respectively.
Dr. DuPree encourages hospitalists to champion hand hygiene at their own organizations. “The more physicians lead and participate, the higher performing the organization is.”