Hospital Staff Should Advocate for Hand Hygiene's Pivotal Role in Strengthening Healthcare Delivery

DebMed®, creator of the award-winning DebMed GMS™ hand hygiene compliance monitoring system, announces it will continue to drive awareness about the significance of hand hygiene during the annual SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands Day campaign. The initiative, led by the World Health Organization (WHO), and supported by Private Organizations for Patient Safety (POPS) of which DebMed is a founding member, is celebrating the global annual event that takes place each May 5. This year's campaign theme is: strengthening healthcare systems and delivery – hand hygiene is your entrance door.  The campaign aims to galvanize action at the point of care to demonstrate that hand hygiene is the entrance door for reducing health care-associated infection and patient safety. It also aims to demonstrate the world's commitment to this priority area of health care.

According to a 2015 report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), healthcare facilities have made progress in reducing the overall number of infections that compromise the health and safety of hospital patients, but there is still much work to be done. Proper hand hygiene strengthens healthcare delivery, as it is the number one way to prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). In addition to saving patient lives, infection prevention helps alleviate some of the costs hospitals may incur due to expensive therapies and extended hospital stays to treat infected patients, as well as lost financial reimbursement or penalties imposed from healthcare quality improvement programs. May 5 is an opportunity to remind the healthcare industry that proper hand hygiene is critical and a focus on improved compliance is a necessity in transforming healthcare.

"Step one is making sure that healthcare organizations recognize and focus on hand hygiene as a priority for improving healthcare, and step two is making sure everyone is educated on when and how to clean their hands. The WHO SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands Day campaign on May 5 provides the focus for this awareness and education," says Heather McLarney, vice president of marketing for DebMed, North America. 

The World Health Organization has been a leading advocate that healthcare workers and patients must recognize the significance of proper hand hygiene in improving patient safety. The WHO Five Moments for Hand Hygiene clearly outline when proper hand cleaning is imperative to be performed during patient care in order to prevent harm and to truly make strides to reduce HAIs. May 5 is a reminder to be committed to safer practices, including these Five Moments which must be used at every healthcare organization globally in conjunction with the proper technique for sanitizing hands, including a 20- to 30-second wet time and full hand coverage.

The WHO is encouraging healthcare organizations to participate by organizing a hand cleaning relay at their facility in hopes of breaking the current world record. The WHO will be providing tools to healthcare organizations to measure the impact on hand hygiene compliance pre and post the relay event.  In addition, healthcare providers are asked to register to pledge their support in reducing hospital-associated infections.

Products like DebMed's Optidose and InstantFOAM moisturizing hand sanitizer and the science-based DebMed GMS electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring system can support hospitals and healthcare organizations in achieving best practice and reducing the spread of infection. The DebMed GMS electronically monitors the hand hygiene compliance rates of healthcare workers in the workplace, based on the best practice standards established by the WHO and CDC.  It is an accurate and cost-effective solution for helping hospitals increase hand hygiene compliance and reduce healthcare-associated infections. DebMed reminds us that proper hand hygiene needs to be embraced every day, not just this one day.

Source: DebMed®