Hand hygiene training and monitoring are critical components of infection prevention and control in healthcare facilities. Many times, monitoring hand hygiene precedes hand hygiene training. However, is there any other skill that you would monitor somebody on before providing high quality training? There are several important reasons why healthcare facilities should conduct hand hygiene training before monitoring the “5 moments” of hand hygiene.

Why you Should Train Before you Monitor Hand Hygiene

  1. Education and Awareness: Providing training before monitoring helps raise awareness and educates healthcare workers about the importance of hand hygiene. They need to understand not only the “when” and “how” of hand hygiene but also the consequences of poor hand hygiene practices.
  2.  Establishing Standard Procedures: Training ensures that all healthcare workers have a consistent understanding of proper hand hygiene techniques and protocols as per established guidelines or protocols. This uniformity in knowledge therefore helps in setting a standard for hand hygiene practices.
  3. Addressing Knowledge Gaps: Healthcare staff may have varying levels of knowledge about hand hygiene. However, training allows for the identification and correction of knowledge gaps, ensuring that everyone has a consistent understanding of the best practices.
  4. Demonstrating Proper Technique: Hand hygiene training typically includes practical demonstrations of the correct handwashing or hand sanitizing technique. This hands-on approach is essential for staff to understand the finer details of proper hand hygiene. If healthcare workers are cleaning their hands at the correct moments, but not cleaning them correctly, infections can still be spread.
  5. Emphasizing & Improving Compliance: Training can emphasize the importance of compliance with hand hygiene protocols to prevent healthcare-associated infections. Staff who understand the consequences of non-compliance are more likely to adhere to the guidelines. Research has also shown that effective hand hygiene training can lead to higher compliance rates among healthcare staff. Monitoring hand hygiene without training may not yield the desired improvements in compliance.
  6. Promoting a Culture of Safety: Effective training contributes to building a culture of safety within healthcare facilities. When staff are well-trained in hand hygiene, they are more likely to prioritize patient safety and their own well-being.
  7. Reducing Variability: Monitoring hand hygiene practices without prior training can lead to inconsistent results. Training helps reduce variability by ensuring that all staff are aware of and can follow the same procedures correctly.
  8. Data Interpretation: Monitoring without prior training may lead to misinterpretation of data. Without understanding the context and reasons for non-compliance, it’s challenging to develop effective strategies to improve hand hygiene practices.
  9. Feedback and Improvement: By training healthcare workers, monitoring can then provide feedback on their actual hand hygiene practices. This feedback helps to identify areas for improvement, tailor interventions, and reinforce good practices.
  10. Resource Allocation: Monitoring hand hygiene compliance without prior training may result in a significant investment of resources to address non-compliance issues. However, by focusing on training first, facilities can allocate resources more efficiently and effectively to prevent non-compliance in the first place.

In summary, it is critical to train before you monitor when it comes to hand hygiene. While monitoring hand hygiene compliance is essential, it is most effective when preceded by comprehensive hand hygiene training. It sets the foundation for understanding, compliance, and a culture of safety in healthcare settings. Monitoring can then serve as a tool to assess and reinforce the knowledge and practices acquired through training. This ultimately leads to better patient outcomes, improves compliance rates and reduces healthcare-associated infections.

For more information on how SureWash can help you deliver this hand hygiene training contact us below or email info@surewash.com.

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