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IPAC poster demonstrates Canadian 'Four Moments Hand Hygiene' guidelines better than WHO's

* Hands.jpgDebMed has collaborated on a study with Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto and Greenville Health System in South Carolina, comparing the number of opportunities for hospital workers to clean their hands when following World Health Organisation guidelines, against the number of opportunities for hand cleaning when following Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care guidelines.

The results, which show that the WHO guidelines aren't as thorough, will be represented in a poster presentation at the upcoming 2015 IPAC Canada national conference, June 15th - 16th, in Victoria, BC.

Poster presentation 'M49, 4 Moments for Hand Hygiene Vs 5 - What's the Actual Difference?' will be presented on Monday, June 15th.

The poster compares the number of hand hygiene opportunities when following the WHO 'Five Moments for Hand Hygiene' guidelines, as reported in the HOW2 Benchmark Study conducted at Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center (Greenville, South Carolina, US), with the number of hand hygiene opportunities when following the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care adaptation of the WHO guidelines, known as 'Your Four Moments for Hand Hygiene', performed at the Mount Sinai Hospital (Toronto, ON, Canada).

The difference between these two guidelines is in Moment One and Moment Four. While both the WHO and Ontario Ministry guidelines recommend healthcare professionals perform hand hygiene before and after patient contact, as well as after touching items in the patient's surroundings, the Ontario Ministry recommendations also include cleaning hands before touching any object or furniture in the patient area so as to not contaminate items in the room, reducing the risk of cross-contamination.

According to the study results, compliance with the Your Four Moments for Hand Hygiene guidelines increased the hand hygiene opportunities by 30.6% over the WHO Five Moments for Hand Hygiene guidelines. The authors note the increase is due to the additional recommendation for hand hygiene prior to contact with the patient environment and suggest that these additional opportunities should be taken into consideration when calculating compliance rates when using an automated hand hygiene compliance monitoring system.

Additionally, whether it is the 4 Moments or the 5 Moments guidelines that are followed, both represent a higher clinical standard than the more common practice of healthcare staff only cleaning hands before and after patient contact, which has been found to miss as much as 50% of all hand hygiene opportunities, potentially putting patients at risk of contracting an infection.

"This study highlights the importance of healthcare leaders carefully evaluating both hand hygiene standards and compliance monitoring methods," says Heather McLarney, vice president of marketing, DebMed North America. "With the increased emphasis on reducing healthcare-associated infections, healthcare professionals need to focus on how to best eliminate the risk of bringing germs carried on the hands into the patient zone.

"DebMed is committed to providing the tools, systems, and knowledge for healthcare workers to comply with high standards of hand hygiene to reduce the spread of infections in hospitals."

The DebMed Group Monitoring System (GMS) electronically tracks if healthcare workers are cleaning their hands as frequently as they should and provides timely reports that encourage the staff to work together as a team to help improve compliance with hand hygiene guidelines. The system is customised to each hospital unit based on the number of patients, nurse to patient staffing ratio and frequency of care. It is the only system available in Canada that tracks staff hand hygiene compliance based on the 'Four Moments for Hand Hygiene' standard.


11th June 2015

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