What’s the single most important tool in preventing infection? Hands down, it’s hand hygiene — the effective use of hand-sanitizing gel, soap and water and gloves. Like hospitals across the country, UMMC is monitoring how well staff comply with the finer points of compliance on this important practice. For example, gloves are not enough – staff must wash or use gel before putting on the gloves. And those gloves should come off and hand sanitizer used again upon exiting the patient’s room.
One team – the staff of the Medical Progressive Care Unit – came up with creative and upbeat activities to make everyone pay more attention to following the rules. The nurses, patient care technicians and unit secretary took a fun multi-modal approach: They had a bake sale in the hallways just outside the elevators near their unit. Those who were drawn by the scent of brownies and cupcakes got the most important stuff for free –pocket-sized hand gel and a laminated card with some helpful reminders about how to effectively clean their hands – and helpful scripting for politely but firmly reminding fellow staff members to do the same: “Excuse me. Can I share some hand sanitizer with you?”
Here are a few pictures from the kick-off of the Medical Progressive Care Unit “All Hands to the Pump” campaign: