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Title: Effectiveness of a Ward level target accountability strategy for hand hygiene
Authors: Pada, Surinder MS Kaur 
Chee, Poh Ling
Rathenam, Sarathemani
Ng, Kim Sim
Alenton, Lilibeth Silagan
Poh, Lishi
Tambyah, Paul Anatharajah 
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Infectious Diseases
Pharmacology & Pharmacy
Hand hygiene
Issue Date: 15-Nov-2019
Publisher: BMC
Citation: Pada, Surinder MS Kaur, Chee, Poh Ling, Rathenam, Sarathemani, Ng, Kim Sim, Alenton, Lilibeth Silagan, Poh, Lishi, Tambyah, Paul Anatharajah (2019-11-15). Effectiveness of a Ward level target accountability strategy for hand hygiene. ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE AND INFECTION CONTROL 8 (1). ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Background: Hand hygiene is a simple and effective solution in prevention of Multi Drug Resistant Organisms. Hand Hygiene campaigns have mostly taken the form of a generalised hospital approach with visual reminders and rewards for improvement in compliance. We describe a hand hygiene programme that sets an individualised ward target to increase accountability and drive improvement. Methods: We undertook to develop a "Hand Hygiene Accountability" model, where the mean compliance rate, using the WHO hand hygiene assessment tool, for each ward over the past 6 months plus 10% was used as a target for that particular ward. Rewards were given to wards with the most percentage improvement over the year. A graded escalation was used for wards that did not meet targets based on 1,2 or 3 months of non-compliance. The most extreme action, setting up a task force directed by the Chairman of our Medical Board, would be required if 3 continuous months of non-compliance was observed. Hand Hygiene audits were performed by staff trained using the WHO audit tools. The same strategy was repeated at our community hospital. Active surveillance testing for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) using nasal, groin and axilla swabs established before the project continued to be in operation, as did surveillance for hospital acquired MRSA bacteraemia (using NHSN criteria), hospital-onset Clostridioides difficile (HO-CD), and multi-resistant gram-negative bacilli. Results: Data from July 2015 to December 2017 was analysed. In the acute and community hospitals, 21,582 and 5770 hand hygiene (HH) observations were undertaken respectively. In the acute care hospital, HH compliance rates went from 65 to 78% (p-value < 0.00001). There was a reduction in MRSA bacteraemia from 5 episodes at the start of the study to 0 in 2017. In the community hospital, HH compliance improved from a mean of 64 to 75% (p-value 0.00005). MRSA transmission rate decreased from 5.72 per 1000 patient days, to 2.79 per 1000 patient days (p-value 0.00035) with an admission prevalence of 13.1% for 2016 and 20.6% in 2017. Conclusions: Using a ward level accountability for hand hygiene is possible and can be successful in improving hand hygiene rates, possibly reducing transmission of MDROs. Realistic targets need to be set and adequate rewards and incentives provided to ensure continuous improvement.
ISSN: 20472994
DOI: 10.1186/s13756-019-0641-0
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