Count Me In!
17th Oct 2013
Hand hygiene is a significant part of controlling infection within hospitals. Blackrock Clinic is one of only a handful of independent hospitals which voluntarily contributes to the HSE rolling hand-washing survey (which is mandatory for all public hospitals). We choose to contribute because it is important to measure our performance in this area. We benchmark a number of key areas around infection control in a comprehensive, hospital-wide, surveillance programme.
Our results far out-strip the national average of 85% since our most recent audit shows over 95% compliance in hand hygiene practices. However, we are aiming to reach 100% compliance as quickly as possible.
With this in mind, we are launching the ‘Count Me In’ messaging campaign, which will reinforce hand-hygiene information clearly all around the hospital. It reflects the hospital’s commitment to reaching 100% staff compliance in hand-hygiene practices, and encouraging everyone within the building to wash their hands or use alcohol gel.
Blackrock Clinic follows the ‘Five Moments for Hand Hygiene’ steps which emerged from the WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care.
The theme ‘Count Me In’ addresses the interdependence of everyone within the hospital in containing bacteria and infection: every person in the building is dependent on the hand hygiene of others during their visit or stay. We want people to understand that we are counting on each other to stop the spread of infection within the hospital.
Information will be across the hospital in appropriate positions, with messaging tailored to each audience.
We need the help of everyone in the hospital in this initiative. Alcohol gel is provided in multiple locations around the hospital and visitors are asked to use this gel when entering the hospital. The gel dispensers aim to reduce the bacteria brought into the hospital by visitors.
We have an infection prevention and control nurse specialist, Joanne Flanagan, who is spearheading the ‘Count Me In’ campaign as part of an active Surveillance Programme she has overseen since 2009.
We also involve our Clinical Governance Director, Professor Gregor Shanik, who overseas the strategic elements of the hospital’s Infection Control. (Blackrock Clinic was the first hospital in Ireland to appoint a Clinical Governance Director). Already the Surveillance Programme has made a significant impact in many ways, most notably in reducing surgical site infections in the last four years.
Blackrock Clinic is doing everything possible to eliminate the risk to our patients. Every visitor and patient in the hospital has a part to play in hand hygiene. Diligent hand washing and using the Alcohol gel when you come through our doors are essential to our success.
We hope we can ‘Count you in’!