Engaging Leadership, Staff and Patients for Patient Safety

A “Germ Crusher” challenge at Children's Hospital Colorado brought together leadership, staff, patients and families to increase hand hygiene compliance—and have fun at the same time. The 486-bed children's hospital in Aurora, Colo., launched the project over a four-week period in the summer of 2015. Led by executive-level captains, teams from 12 hospital departments competed to achieve the best hand hygiene compliance. About 70 trained auditors completed direct observations, along with thousands of ambulatory audits by families. Patients got involved too: Each patient received an autograph card and received a prize after getting five autographs from care providers who washed their hands upon entering a room. For extra points during the challenge, teams submitted stories highlighting patient and family involvement and how issues were resolved, helping increase awareness of hand hygiene throughout the hospital. By the final week of the challenge, hand hygiene had increased to 92 percent compliance, from a baseline of 80 percent. Lessons learned include establishing a consistent process for training and validating how auditors collect data, removing barriers to hand hygiene and encouraging leadership accountability.

A “Germ Crusher” challenge at Children's Hospital Colorado brought together leadership, staff, patients and families to increase hand hygiene compliance—and have fun at the same time. The 486-bed children's hospital in Aurora, Colo., launched the project over a four-week period in the summer of 2015. Led by executive-level captains, teams from 12 hospital departments competed to achieve the best hand hygiene compliance. About 70 trained auditors completed direct observations, along with thousands of ambulatory audits by families. Patients got involved too: Each patient received an autograph card and received a prize after getting five autographs from care providers who washed their hands upon entering a room. For extra points during the challenge, teams submitted stories highlighting patient and family involvement and how issues were resolved, helping increase awareness of hand hygiene throughout the hospital. By the final week of the challenge, hand hygiene had increased to 92 percent compliance, from a baseline of 80 percent. Lessons learned include establishing a consistent process for training and validating how auditors collect data, removing barriers to hand hygiene and encouraging leadership accountability.

Read the complete case study. Children's Hospital Colorado received the 2015 AHA-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize.

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