Nursing

Nurses at the frontline of hand hygiene

Nurse Leader Insider, September 1, 2016

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Hospitals are always looking for ways to improve hand hygiene at their facility, given both the financial incentive of avoiding fines and patient safety concerns. The Mayo Clinic in Florida decided to expand the role of nurses in hand-hygiene compliance, making them the frontline advocates and “watchdogs” of hand hygiene.

One of the initiatives implemented by the clinic expanded the role of patients in hand hygiene, relying on nurses to deliver information and conduct patient surveys about their provider’s compliance. As patient advocates, nurses were able to communicate with their patients, explaining what to look for and encouraging them to speak up if they notice an incident. The clinic also added hand wipes to patient rooms, so the nurses could demonstrate hand hygiene practices to the patients.

In addition to improving patient compliance, the Mayo Clinic Florida empowered nurses to confront colleagues or superiors about noncompliance. They provided nurses with strategies and phrases to use when confronting staff, and they found that nurses had no problem standing up to executives and physicians about hand hygiene.

The Mayo Clinic Florida reports that their compliance rate is between 95 and 100 percent, and they attribute much of this success to their nursing staff.
 



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