This is a watershed moment for the Patient Safety cause. The new hand hygiene performance standard issued by The Joint Commission this week takes facility accountability to a new level:
Effective January 1, 2018, for all accreditation programs, any observation by surveyors of individual failure to perform hand hygiene in the process of direct patient care will be cited as a deficiency resulting in a Requirement for Improvement (RFI) under Infection Prevention and Control (IC) Standard IC.02.01.01, EP 2.
Further, the Update states that: “While there are various causes for HAI’s, The Joint Commission has determined that failure to perform hand hygiene associated with direct care of patients should no longer be one of them.”
Now it is even more critical for hospitals to ensure they are training, measuring and equipping healthcare providers with the tools needed to help ensure they perform hand hygiene consistently during patient care.The only way to effectively achieve this on a 24/7 basis is by implementing a validated electronic hand hygiene compliance system house-wide so that accurate and reliable feedback that drives true improvement can be given.
Direct Observation “secret-shopper” type audits of hand hygiene performance are widely known to be antiquated and only produce limited and falsely elevated rates of compliance. This can lead to hospital leaders becoming dangerously complacent. Even worse, this practice enables patient care with unclean hands when secret shoppers don’t intervene
Ready to take hand hygiene performance and patient safety to a new level? Contact any of our members to learn more about how you can solve this long-standing issue, avoid potential RFIs from the Joint Commission and most importantly eliminate the risk of harm to your patients and staff.
Looking for a keynote speaker on the topic? Contact me at Chairman@EHCOhealth.org to learn more.
Best to all in our community for great holidays and a happy and healthy New Year!
Chairman, EHCO, Inc