Setting Frequency Standards for Electronically Tracked Handwashing
Electronic handwash monitoring systems motivate sustainable behavior change. They team up with observational protocols, multiplying the total validated handwashes to reach a statistically reliable number. Before going live with an automated system, caregivers require commitment to a standard for number of times a handwash is required per shift to assure patient and resident safety. Setting that number or range starts with the individual's view, reflecting the provider's policies. This has been dubbed the MyWIN, My Wash Index Number.
Unit expectations are set by adding up the individual numbers to set the reference point of OurWIN, Our Wash Index Number.
Implementing The MyWIN™-OurWIN™ Standards
The Aggregate Vs. individual Scoring Systems
All electronic hand hygiene monitoring systems are capabable of improving compliance but it is important to first assess your needs, including operational culture and budget. Data helps make better decisions and drives sustainable behavior change. Will you be satisfied to have team performance or would you prefer to know who is meeting our policies in order that they are appropriately rewarded, retrained or disiplined.
Individual’s commitment and competence records may help supervisors recognize their success in the Performance Review process. Data can be grouped into teams by shift or area of responsibility, opening up the utility of the Performance Scoreboard for their direct feedback on handwashing frequency. It adds the motivation of competition, professionalism and success.
Handwashing For Life has witnessed the truth in this adage, What gets measured gets done and has authored this variant, What gets rewarded gets done...BETTER, FASTER & CHEAPER.
Hospitals and nursing homes generally know their handwashing frequency is low but now it is by choice. New wireless technologies take handwashing from an out-of-control random intervention to one of professionalism and patient care, eliminating the care deficit.
Providers have choices to match up technologies with their corporate culture. Check out this Electronic Handwashing Monitoring Matrix, providing a basis for an initial comparison of Best Practice leaders.
MyWin™ / OurWin™ Implementation Guide
MyWin™ / OurWin™ Worksheet Sample
MyWin™ / OurWin™ Worksheet
MyWin™ / OurWin™ Worksheet for Nurses
Handwashing rates in healthcare range between poor and not very good while HAI rates continue unchecked. Years of under-washing can be remedied by equipping supervisors with empirical evidence of hand hygiene behaviors. Observation is the current standard and grossly overstates the reality. Effective solutions always require good management skills. Here are four different technologies that will leverage their leadership skills. All provide good decision making data, compliment observation-based systems and create opportunities to reward the managers who motivate good handwash compliance by their staff.
Two Routes To Team Handwashing
Team: Many healthcare units work as teams and are ready to be reported as such on performance indicators like handwashing. Teammanship itself is a powerful motivator to maintain safe handwashing rates. This choice provides feedback by having electronic readers collect, store, and manage the electronic hand-hygiene observations. Easy to read graphical snapshots of weekly, monthly, and total compliance data and history are generated. Trends become apparent and signal where training (or discipline) may be required. The team option is most commonly deployed at the entrance to patient/resident rooms, recording handwashes on entering and exiting. Trips in and out are added and divided by total traffic, yielding a Percent Compliant factor in accordance with the policy.
Individual: Adding an electronically read individual badge to caregivers opens the door to an explosion of information via Stand-Alone and RTLS (Real-Time Location System), providing evidence-based data to support accurate Joint Commission reporting and providing a check-point for quality improvement initiatives.
The Electronic Compliance Monitoring Matrix
This Handwashing For Life Healthcare Matrix is intended as a “Monitoring Mall" to start your search and learn about features and benefits of different technologies. Our focus has identified many options in this dynamic market where the need is high but experience is low. We have selected four routes, four companies, to help shoppers get started and better understand the niches for both hospitals and nursing homes. All four firms have been in business for many years and have demonstrated the necessary staying power with continual R&D investment.
Healthcare HAIs are deadly and missed hand hygiene opportunities are the major contributing factor. Healthcare professionals, in both acute care and long-term care, consistently estimate that their rates are at 50% of what they should be. New technologies are now available to bridge this gap and it’s time to get started on a path of documented continuous improvement.
If you are committed to hand hygiene compliance by observation and the secret shopper system, consider using non-staff “shoppers” deployed in a professional protocol. Baird & Associates has leading methodology that can be useful in conjunction with technology assisted monitoring and wrapped into a total patient-safety program. A culture change is required at many facilities. http://baird-group.com/
The numbers alone are not a solution. The "Jacks or Better" Factor in Lowering the Risk of HAI's.
Avid healthcare handwashers point out that their operation is “doing everything” yet published research says it’s not enough, not nearly enough. This gap between the level of handwashing associated with low risk and today's high-risk reality is a consequence of training for years without agreed standards, without verification, without rewarding success. Data fills that gap and brings handwashing under control in order to reward good behaviors and discipline nonperformance. Electronic monitoring is at the core of behavior change from nurse assistants to their c-suite advocates.