Archive June 2018 XIX, No. 6

Ideas That Work: Remember to Wash Your Hands

When Everyone's a Hand Hygiene Spy

EYES ON THE STREET Involve your entire staff in hand hygiene surveillance to improve hand hygiene compliance.
CHARTING CLEAN HANDS This hand hygiene observation form tracks the hand hygiene of all employees, reps or anyone who enters the facility.

Many facilities use secret observers to record whether physicians and staff are washing their hands. Not us. We make surveillance everyone's job. Instead of having a single spy, we've made everyone responsible for making sure we all remember to practice good hand hygiene. We encourage anyone in a position to observe how others wash their hands to fill out our observation form — one hangs in sterile processing and one in the admitting and recovery area. You can download our form at In addition to OR team members, we observe housekeeping, front office staff, students, vendors and reprocessing techs.

It takes only a few moments to fill out the form. You circle where in the facility the observation took place as well as if the person used soap or sanitizer. You also check if the person washed his hands before patient care, after patient care, after touching a contaminated surface and after glove removal. We ask the person doing the observing to initial the form. Our goal is to fill out 1 sheet each month.

Sheila Kritta, CRCST, CIS, CHMMC, CHL
Lakewood Surgery Center
Grand Rapids, Minn.

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