Hand-Hygiene forms the backbone of any infection prevention and control program of a healthcare facility. As per our risk-based matrix, it forms the priority for our annual action plan.
Our hand-hygiene dashboard depicted fluctuating peaks and led us to look into causative factors for not attaining our 100% compliance target. Analysis revealed that key issues could be addressed in behavior-driven strategies with self-motivational perspectives integrating hand-hygiene into human-self as a compulsive behavior in a team rather than an individual approach. With this in mind, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi set in to create a Guinness World Record towards ‘Clean Hands, Healing hands’ by roping in 1711 participants for hand sanitization relay on ‘single location’ on 5 May 2016 (Global Hand-Hygiene Day)
The Program was convened and spearheaded by Head of Infection Control and executed with the help of Quality, HR, Nursing and Infection Control Team.
Our journey was fraught with multiple challenges. Changing the participants’ mindset and converting into optimism was a major hurdle. Interactive motivating sessions helped to allay their fears. Infusing a Team Spirit and synchronizing the actions of all participants according to laid down Guinness guidelines was difficult, as it involved hectic man-hours and coordination of a gigantic team of individuals, repeated sessions of training and reinforcing each participant, especially non-medical, in a short limited time, on the correct technique of hand sanitization. The two day-long pre-event rehearsals helped to rectify our errors and bring to precision and accuracy.
An ‘International Patient Safety Goal’, hand-hygiene forms a major focus of our risk-assessment based action-plan and component of our ‘bundles’ for prevention of healthcare associated infections. Evidence based studies delve upon reducing infections, decreasing development and spread of multidrug resistant organisms, leading to decrease in average length of stay, culminating towards lesser patient expenses.
Keeping with this, every patient is provided with a hand-sanitizer at bedside, nursing stations and strategic patient care areas. Post-event, our hand-hygiene compliance has increased. This activity should upscale ongoing efforts for hand-hygiene programs and increase awareness globally.
We have low rates of Healthcare associated infections. Our next plan is consolidating the gains of this record and synchronizing this activity throughout different centers within the Apollo group and consolidating antimicrobial stewardship.
We hope that a competitive spirit shall drive a cascading effect and a massive global hand-hygiene chain reaction, benefitting humanity.