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Hand Hygiene Pilot Demonstrates Efficacy

During 2012, nine JCI-accredited health organizations from Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Europe successfully implemented a TST in adult and pediatric care units. Participants experienced a dramatic 72% improvement in hand hygiene practices, based on thousands of direct observations.

The pilot study was organized to test the TST for Hand Hygiene’s applicability in international health care settings and highlight new learning about this important topic. A cohort of nine JCI-accredited organizations participated in the study, meeting via webinars from April-October 2012 and benefiting from conversations with current TST users.

The cohort embarked on 14 improvement projects conducted in adult and pediatric care units, resulting in 12,063 unique observations. The top five causes of hand hygiene failure emerged as:

  • Improper use of gloves
  • Hands full
  • Frequent entry or exit
  • Following another person during entry or exit
  • Isolation area (glove and gown practices)

Aggregated results showed an improvement in compliance from 42.16% at the baseline to 71.74% at the study’s close.

Hand Hygiene Compliance by Type of Unit

Unit                                    Baseline               Improve        

Adult Medical-Surgical            38%                     73%

Adult Critical Care                  50%                     66%

Adult Intermediate Care         49%                     78%

Pediatric Intermediate            33%                     58%

Clinicians reported the TST to be effective and easy to implement within their organizations. Each hospital faced distinctive challenges in hand hygiene practices which were addressed through the comprehensive TST process.