News brief: Boston hospitals ensure hand hygiene compliance

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, June 2, 2009

Nurses, physicians, and healthcare workers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston are secretly being watched. But the spying is for a good reason: to make sure they are washing their hands.

MGH—an ANCC Magnet Recognition Program® redesignation recipient in 2008—employs secret shoppers to round on departments in the organization and watch whether staff members are complying with hand hygiene. The secret shoppers gather data from their observations and then report back to each department.

The secret shoppers have reportedly paid off. The hospital recently held a cake party to celebrate three months with a 90% hand hygiene compliance rate.

Other hospitals in the Boston area, such as Tufts Medical Center and Boston Medical Center, are also working toward hand hygiene. They have tried initiatives including posters in hallways and patients' rooms and buttons that ask, "Got hands? Wash them."

Source: The Boston Channel

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