Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Hand Washing compliance 100%

Hand hygiene 100% compliance at Ellis Hospitals. How did they do that?

Mary Ellen Crittenden, Vice President of Quality at Ellis told us that their board had a 'zero tolerance policy' for non-compliance.

They had a huge focus on clinician buy in and cultural issues developed over many months. They had 'secret shoppers' watching people and built it up the tempo gradually to a stage where they then announced a 'three strikes and you are out' policy.

If some one did not wash their hands:

first time - they were sent home with pay
second time - they were sent home without pay
third time - they were sent home and asked not to come back i.e. sacked

As an aside they had the same policy for their employed and visiting doctors, apparently they did not have to sack any of their more than 1000 doctors

Of course not all their deployments to improve quality were this harshly enforced.
Based on similar attitudes and healthcare lean methodology they have also achieved

495 continuous days without a single central line infection
0 - ZERO infections for hip surgery in whole of 2010 and till April 2011

They are looking forward to many other low or zeros soon (colonic surgery, caesarean sections, etc)

Ellis Hospital system in New York ( is not exactly Mayo or Johns Hopkins but they have achieved great results.

When will we see this here at our work place? Most of us sooner or later are likely to end up as a patient in our local hospitals; well, it could happen tomorrow. We have to get it sorted before we occupy one of these beds!

The proven methods are available; we can do it if we want.


PS: As recalled from what was heard at a conference in 2011

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