Employees lead the way in promoting hand  hygiene


Yale New Haven Hospital employees, meet the newest leaders in the quest for excellent hand high hygiene: your co-workers.

The hospital on April 17 launched a Hand Hygiene Champion program that includes nearly 100 employee champions at inpatient and ambulatory sites. They will serve as liaisons between their patient care areas and the Hand Hygiene Performance Improvement (HHPI) Team, identifying barriers to good hand hygiene, proposing solutions and sharing hand hygiene best practices with their colleagues.

In addition, the HHPI Team created the role of hand hygiene lead, who will support the champion’s efforts on different shifts. Each unit’s manager/ charge nurse will identify a physician, staff member or student to serve as the hand hygiene lead for that shift. The lead will conduct at least three hand hygiene observations, thanking those who properly perform hand hygiene and providing guidance to those who do not.

“The purpose is to engage and empower all members of the care team to perform 200% accountability with ‘just-in-time’ coaching,” said Jeannette Bronsord, RN, director of Nursing, Surgical Services, and HHPI Team sponsor.

YNHH’s hand hygiene compliance rate has been 70 percent to 80 percent on average, Richard Martinello, MD, the team’s Infection Prevention sponsor, told champions during training. The target is 90 percent.

“The ultimate goal of the champion program is to keep Yale New Haven Hospital safe for our patients,” said Paul Crombie, LCSW, director, Social Work, who co-chairs the team with Nancy Busch, RN, patient service manager, Ambulatory. “Hand hygiene is the most effective way to minimize the transmission of germs.”

On May 5, World Hand Hygiene Day, HHPI Team members and champions will hand out stickers at employee entrances to remind staff about importance of hand hygiene.