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Archive December 2020 XXI, No. 12

Ideas That Work : Hand Hygiene

Glowing Germs Stand Out to Staff

SEEING IS BELIEVING
Wendy Wellott
SEEING IS BELIEVING A lotion that glows under UV light highlights areas missed during hand washing.

Hand hygiene has always been important, but COVID-19 has caused us all to refocus on doing it right. To make sure our staff is keeping up with this important task, we perform a fun exercise with Glo Germ, a lotion that glows brightly when exposed to UV light. Staff members apply it to their hands and let it dry for a minute or two before washing it off. When we shine a UV flashlight on their hands, they can see how well they washed based on the amount of Glo Germ that remains. They're always surprised by how difficult it is to remove, with nails and wrists being the most common areas that are missed. The exercise emphasizes the importance of following our facility's hand hygiene protocols, which we audit each month by observing if staff wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before and after they touch patients, surfaces, supplies and medications.

You can download a copy of our audit sheet at outpatientsurgery.net/forms to help track your staff's performance.

Wendy Wellott, RN, BSN
The Oregon Clinic Gastroenterology East at Gateway
Portland, Ore.
wwellott@orclinic.com

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