Actionable Patient Safety Solutions (APSS)

22A Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene compliance in most hospitals is less than 50%, a significant contributor to the annual healthcare-associated infection (HAI) rates of 7.1% in Europe and 4.5% in the United States. This translates to 37,000 deaths in European countries (Hand Hygiene, 2020) and nearly 99,000 deaths in the U.S. each year (Stone, 2009; Patient CareLink). Adequate and thorough hand hygiene is the single most important, least costly, and most basic method of reducing HAIs in hospitals (Mathur, 2011). A 10% improvement in hand hygiene is associated with a 6% decrease in HAIs (Sickbert-Bennett, et al. 2016).

Our APSS outline actionable steps healthcare organizations should take to successfully implement and sustain behavior change for high reliability, shared understanding, thorough communication, and meaningful person-centered care across the organization.

Actionable steps include:

  • Executive Summary Checklist
  • Leadership checklist guide to determine whether current evidence-based guidelines are being followed in your organization
  • Performance improvement plan to follow if improvements are necessary
  • Clinical workflow for preoccupation with workflow for areas of improvement
  • How to educate patients and family members about the significance of their role throughout the continuum
  • Guidance on how to measure outcomes

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APSS are revised annually and available free of charge on our website for download.


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