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ED Accreditation Update
New monograph helps examine hand hygiene
The Joint Commission has released a monograph titled "Measuring Hand Hygiene Adherence; Overcoming the Challenges," to help health care organizations target their efforts in measuring hygiene performance.
The monograph is the result of a two-year collaboration with major infection prevention and control leadership organizations in the United States and abroad to identify effective approaches for measuring adherence to hand hygiene guidelines in health care organizations.
According to The Joint Commission, without standardized approaches to measuring hand hygiene performance, it is impossible to determine whether overall performance is improving, deteriorating, or unchanged as new strategic interventions are introduced. The Joint Commission's National Patient Safety Goals require accredited organizations to follow recognized hand hygiene guidelines; however, studies continue to show that adherence to those guidelines is lacking. This is due, in part, to the variation in approaches to measurement, which makes rates of adherence difficult to compare.
The monograph provides a framework to help health care workers make necessary decisions about when, why, and how to measure compliance with hand hygiene, while systematically reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of commonly used approaches. Examples of measurement methods and tools in the monograph, which also includes references to evidence-based guidelines and published literature, were submitted by organizations through the Consensus Measurement in Hand Hygiene project.
"Measuring hand hygiene adherence is not a simple matter," said Jerod M. Loeb, PhD, executive vice president, The Joint Commission's Division of Quality Measurement and Research, in making the announcement. "The monograph can help health care organizations more effectively measure compliance and streng- then improvement activities that save lives and money."
Elaine Larson, RN, PhD, FAAN, CIC, scientific advisor for the project and associate dean for research at the Columbia University School of Nursing, New York City, said, "Monitoring hand hygiene is useful only if the methods are valid and reliable and the results are widely disseminated and used to improve practice. This monograph will be an invaluable resource to institutions struggling to do it right."
Electronic copies of the monograph are available free on The Joint Commission's web site (www.jointcommission.org). Once you're on the home page, type "hand hygiene monograph" in the search box. A free printed copy is available by calling The Joint Commission's Department of Customer Service Center at (630) 792-5800, option 5, or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.