New Tool from Joint Commission Targets Hand Hygiene

Article

The Joint Commission has developed an interactive tool designed to improve hand hygiene and reduce the frequency of healthcare-associated infections.

The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare has developed an interactive tool that provides “a step-by-step process to measure performance, identify barriers to excellent performance, and implement proven solutions.”

The first set of targeted solutions, created by eight healthcare organizations that worked with the Center, is designed to improve hand hygiene. The Targeted Solutions Tool (TST) provides accredited hospitals the foundation and framework of a method that can improve a facility’s hand hygiene compliance and contribute to efforts to reduce the frequency of healthcare-associated infections. The complimentary data-driven tool offers instantaneous data analysis to help organizations address barriers that may exist to achieving optimal performance.

“Consistent excellence in hand hygiene is vital to our larger aim of eliminating preventable health care-associated infections,” said Mark R. Chassin, MD, president of The Joint Commission, in a press release. “The Targeted Solutions Tool provides hospitals with powerful new knowledge and methods they can use right away to make substantial advances toward this goal.”

Hospitals that participated in the pilot project saw significant improvements in hand hygiene, which increased from an average of 48% to 82% in just over a year—an improvement that had been sustained for eight months.

“Health care technology today is advanced and expensive,” said Anita Walden, vice president of nursing, Decatur General, Decatur, AL, who was involved in testing the TST. Walden believes it is critical to “direct our focus back to the basics of proper handwashing, an inexpensive but critically effective tool, in fighting infection. We anticipate our quality of patient care to increase as the threat of infection decreases.”

Future projects that will be incorporated into the TST will focus on issues such as wrong site surgery, surgical site infections and hand-off communications, according to the Joint Commission.

For more:

  • The Sad State of Hand Washing at Your Local Hospital
  • HCPLive Nurses’ Blogs: The Hand Washing Secret Police
  • New York TimesA Hospital Hand-Washing Project to Save Lives and Money
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