Archive October 2018 XIX, No. 10

Ideas That Work: Location, Location, Location

Hang Your Hand Sanitizer Dispensers With Care

Pamela Bevelhymer, RN, BSN, CNOR
NATURAL WORKFLOW Make sure you mount your hand sanitizer dispensers along your team's natural workflow.

Could something as simple as mounting your hand hygiene dispensers in out-of-the-way places adversely affect your hand hygiene compliance rate? Actually, yes, it can.

When we noticed that our nurse’s hand hygiene compliance had significantly dropped, we took a closer look and found an unlikely culprit: Our dispensers hung in hard-to-reach places in about half of our ORs. We just hadn’t mounted them in the natural workflow for our nurses as they walked around the room. The fix was as easy as relocating a dispenser from the middle of the room to near the door. But that’s not all we did.

  • Self-policing. We trained staff, auditors and senior nurses to do “just in time” coaching. If they’re walking around and they see someone is about to do a task that requires them to sanitize their hands, they’re to stop them and remind them to push the dispenser.
  • Code word yellow. Just as a yellow traffic light means caution, we trained staff to subtly alert colleagues — without alarming patients — to wash their hands by saying the word “yellow.”
  • Posters. We placed “Are your hands clean?” posters next to the doors in every room that lead out to the core to remind staff rushing out the door to stop and sanitize their hands.

Kizzie Charles, MS, APRN,
Memorial Sloan
Kettering Cancer Center
New York, N.Y.

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