Hand Hygiene
Written by Vladlena Abed, Infection prevention and control practitioner, Infection Control

Staff engagement initiative to promote hand hygiene at Eagle Ridge Hospital.

Wash your hands….and remind your peers! How do creative ideas get born?

During an infection control huddle between Eagle Ridge Hospital leaders, one question stood out: “How do we make sure that health care workers work together to remind each other about hand hygiene and missed moments?" 

After a short brainstorming session, “Eagle Ridge Hospital 21 Day Hand Hygiene Challenge” was born. It’s simple – it takes 21 days to develop a habit, so let’s have a 21 Day Hand Hygiene Challenge. The core group of clinical nurse educators and site infection control practitioners worked closely to develop the challenge. It was important to create a fun learning work environment while promoting new habits and peer-to-peer engagement.

Hand hygiene related activities were developed, along with a scoring system and competition rules. The activities included: pin the hand hygiene moment on the picture, hand hygiene tag, word search, crossword puzzles, creating hand hygiene related pictures and songs, and more.

All areas and disciplines of the hospital were encouraged to participate in the challenge and work together towards the common goal of exceptional hand hygiene. To be a true competition, the challenge was fueled by prizes; first, second and third place prizes were awarded to the teams with highest submission scores.

The “Eagle Ridge Hospital 21 Day Hand Hygiene Challenge” took place November 1-21, 2016. The kick off started on Halloween with a “Germ Patrol” team dressed up in hand hygiene related costumes to promote the initiative. Every day Eagle Ridge Hospital patient care coordinators encouraged their staff to participate in the challenge, handing out and collecting the activity of the day.

Over 400 submissions were received from the ten unit based teams, making it a great success. Special thanks to Angeli Bucovaz, Sky Ashmore, Tricia McAloney, Jenne Brett and Denise Bonner for making this challenge possible. Thank you to Eagle Ridge Hospital leadership and staff for your support and participation and for making the hospital a safer place for our patients.

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