A recent study published in the online medical journal of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology reported that hospital patients washed their hands only 30% of the time when visiting the bathroom (12,000 bathroom visits were observed in the Toronto based study). When entering or leaving a room the rate of hand washing for patients was a dismal 5%.
However, the results of this study will not surprise most bedside nurses. As a nurse, it was refreshing to see this issue being addressed. For too long, patients have been left out of studies related to hospital-acquired infections. The findings demonstrate an opportunity for healthcare professionals to teach patients the importance of hand-hygiene especially as it relates to preventing infections. In addition, the need for hand-hygiene protocols related to patients was clearly demonstrated by this study.
At the end of a shift, if you ask a nurse how many times did your patients wash their hands? The nurse will usually have a hesitant answer that says it was not done enough. A way to help patients wash their hands without placing an extra burden on hospital staff was my motivation for developing Fitsi a patented bedside product designed to give patients easy access to hand sanitizer at all times, without the help of a caregiver. Patients need to clean their hands; yet increasing the burden on hospital staff is not the answer. Fitsi is a simple design solution that can help save lives and help nurses.
To your health!