A Win-Win for Hand Hygiene

A very interesting study was recently published in the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC).  It investigated patient hand hygiene on a unit at the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center. It caught our attention at Fitsi Health because we are focused on enabling patients to perform hand hygiene and are thrilled to see this research added to the body of literature on patient hand hygiene.

The AJIC study focused on educating patients on when to perform hand hygiene. Defining five specific events or “moments” in the day of the patient was found to help patients remember when to perform hand hygiene.  Besides the usual before eating, after using the rest room, before and after touching drains / devices, and upon entering and leaving the room, a fifth moment was added - perform hand hygiene upon the entrance of healthcare personnel into the room.

This fifth moment proved to be powerful because it was a non-verbal reminder to healthcare personnel to wash their hands while the patient also performed hand hygiene. A win-win.

Hand sanitizer was provided to the patients along with education regarding the importance of hand hygiene in the hospital and the study findings showed these interventions improved the frequency of patient hand hygiene. Of course, it makes sense that having hand sanitizer easily accessible will improve hand hygiene, but defining the five moments to clearly identify when to clean their hands provided structure to the hospital experience.

Fitsi, our bed caddy, provides a place to have hand sanitizer easily accessible along with storage for personal items. Our mission is to help patients engage with their care while providing a way to help reduce hospital acquired infections.