Hand Washing Saves Lives using CNLs as culture change agents for patient safety
Last edit: 14:30, 25 April 2011
Hand hygiene requires a healthcare culture change in the microsystems of patient care. CNLs can lead change by increasing the awareness of hand hygiene importance through education and reminder strategies. Increasing hand washing adherence and preventing the spread of disease will improve patient care. But how do we change the culture of safety with hand hygiene? Basically it's changing a few behaviors. It's remembering to wash our hands before and after patient care and reminding our coworkers to wash their hands when you notice they may have forgotten. Thanking the person who reminded you to wash your hands is a vital communication skill and demonstrates teamwork. When we work as a team, and remind our coworkers to make corrections, it translates into better care for our patients. Placeing colorful posters and signs in prominent places, wearing "wash your hands" buttons on our scrubs or labcoats, helps remind us and builds awareness. Utilizing educational tools from WHO, CDC, and Unicef to name a few, is resourceful. Including other disciplines in the hand hygiene culture change is important, because clean hands are everyone's responsibility in healthcare. Sustaining change through quarterly follow ups, educational updates, and appraisals of decreased incidence of infection, are outcomes that CNLs are "all over".