Aiming for a perfect grade, YNHH’s champions head back to class

Just over a year ago, Yale New Haven Hospital launched a Hand Hygiene Champion program that empowers employees to promote good hand hygiene practices.
On Sept. 13, the nearly 100 employee champions will participate in a refresher course on hand hygiene workflows, how the hospital collects data on hand hygiene compliance and proper glove use.

The champions work in clinical and non-clinical departments at inpatient and ambulatory sites, serving as liaisons between their areas and the Hand Hygiene Performance Improvement (HHPI) Team. They identify barriers to good hand hygiene, propose solutions and share hand hygiene best practices with their colleagues.

“The champions help make hand hygiene part of the hospital culture by promoting and supporting behavior changes in all staff,” said Rochelle Mikolinski, RN, patient service manager, Medicine (EP 7-5), who co-chairs the HHPI Team with Tina Bennett, director, Patient Transport and Community Outreach. “Our goal is 100 percent hand hygiene compliance in all areas.”

In addition to the champions, the HHPI Team created the role of hand hygiene lead, who supports the champion’s efforts on different shifts. Each area’s manager identifies a physician, staff member or student to serve as the hand hygiene lead for that shift. The lead conducts at least three hand hygiene observations, thanking those who properly perform hand hygiene and providing guidance to those who do not.

“By designating different people to serve as leads, you engage and empower all members of the care team to perform 200% accountability and coaching,” Mikolinski said.

Watch for more communications about YNHH’s hand hygiene efforts.