“Reminder - System Change - Training - Evaluation – Institutional Safety Culture are five strategies for sustainable hand hygiene which helps decrease rates of infection rate in patients and healthcare workers. You need to keep them in mind because hand hygiene is the starting point of good health.” Asst. Prof. Kumthorn Malathum, Head of Infectious Disease Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital
Hand Hygiene Audit Training was held at Ramathibodi Hospital on 8-9 August, 2019 and saw the participation of 54 healthcare workers including doctors and nurses from 26 hospitals nationwide. The training aims to increase the capacity of healthcare workers in hand hygiene to prevent and control infections in patients and workers and to encourage compliance with the hand hygiene audit in pilot hospitals, thus improving quality of care and making for safer health services.
The Hand Hygiene Audit training features both lectures and practical exercises. The content covers; 1) sustainable hand hygiene programme; 2) ‘5 moments for hand hygiene’ concept; 3) hand hygiene audit observation method and role play; 4) hand hygiene application; and 5) hand hygiene programme designed for use by the participating hospitals.
The highlight of the training was the observation and monitoring of the 5 moments for hand hygiene 1) before touching a patient; 2) before clean/aseptic procedures; 3) after risk of exposure to body fluids; 4) after touching a patient; and 5) after touching a patient’s surroundings. It is crucial that healthcare workers memorize and comply with these 5 moments for hand hygiene because they help prevent infection and the spread of communicable diseases in the hospital. Participants also practised the observation and monitoring of the 5 moments through role play activities.
“Just 15 seconds of proper hand hygiene can help reduce 90% of germs. Therefore, awareness of proper hand hygiene is very important, and it should start from us because we are healthcare workers.”
To ensure an effective hand hygiene programme, each hospital should set up a hand hygiene subcommittee to define measures for hand hygiene practice and allocate a budget for hand hygiene tools, for example the installation of automatic alcohol gel dispensers in every corner of the hospital so that these are accessible to both patients and healthcare workers. The monitoring and evaluation of hand hygiene also needs to be put in place and continually performed.
“Piloting hygiene and safety as a guideline for practice will make us feel familiar with it, and familiarity will lead to a safety culture in the hospital.” Asst. Prof. Kumthorn told participants.
The Hand Hygiene Audit training is one of the activities implemented under the “Improving Occupational Safety, Health of Healthcare Workers, and Patients in Public Hospitals in Thailand” project, which is financially supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and B.Braun Thailand Ltd. and managed by GIZ Thailand.