What are we measuring?
Hand hygiene performance in intensive care units (ICUs) and in general medical-surgical wards.
Why is this important?
Hand hygiene is the cleaning of the hands with either soap and water or an alcohol-based agent. It is the single most important way to prevent the spread of infection.
What is our performance telling us?
The chart shows how BIDMC's performance compares to our goal. Look for big differences in the performance in order to be sure that the difference is meaningful. Small differences may not reflect real differences in performance (i.e., they may not be statistically significant). Note that different hospitals measure hand hygiene performance differently, so that rates may not be directly comparable.
There are no benchmarks for Hand Hygiene. The current internal goal is 90% due to potential inaccuracies in the measurement system and will be increased to 100% over time.
View our ICU past performance over time >>
View our MEDICAL-SURGICAL-OB UNITS past performance over time >>
During the 1st Quarter of FY13, average hand hygiene performance was 90% for the ICUs and 68% for the medical-surgical-OB units compared to our target of 90%. (BIDMC's hand hygiene performance rate is calculated by measuring the expected soap and hand-sanitizer usage based on the number of patients on the units as well as spot checks through direct observation of practice throughout the hospital). While some individual units have achieved or surpassed goal in each period, there are enough sufficient outliers that we have not met our overall goal. Hand hygiene performance continues to show some improvement in all patient care units, most significantly in the intensive care units, but we won't be satisfied until we reach our goal in all units.
What are we doing to improve our performance?
The specific steps we are taking to improve performance include:
- Making sure that soap and water, as well as alcohol-based hand cleaners are easily accessible.
- Educational campaigns
- Feedback to all units and recognition for high achieving units
Other useful measures on infections:
Last updated: April 5, 2013