Improving Hand Hygiene Compliance





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Published on Feb 26, 2010

While most of the nation's health care providers dwindle below 50% in hand hygiene compliance, Spectrum Health Hospital Group in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has achieved a phenomenal 96% rate of compliance with the help of Influencer Training from VitalSmarts.

See how this large health care system achieved this lasting, sustainable change to provide better patient care and save lives.

Download the full case study at http://www.vitalsmarts.com/casestudie...

Hi my name is Matt Van Vranken, I am the president of Spectrum health hospital group in grand rapids Michigan. We are an integrated delivery system that includes 3 corporations.
We are about 3 billion dollar company, 17,000 employees.

What goals were you trying to achieve?

I really view success and the transformation of this healthcare system as our ability to really create something that has end-to-end connectivity. And it's not about a system, it's about how people behave and how they view their roles within a healthcare system.

What did you do to accomplish these goals?

In order for us to be able to create connectivity end-to-end, we need to influence a number of people across this organization. We believe that there are a few vital behaviors that are going to make that happen.

The first is for people to take responsibility for their own actions and behaviors and to begin to really focus on those things that we believe are most important.

Second is for us to be able to create an environment where people feel safe talking about those things that are most important. And where we can really begin to have the kind of conversation that will allow us to be able to break through literally 50 or 60 years of hospital culture that finds us where we are today.

And then finally, we really have a holistic approach to accountability which says I'm going to be accountable for the things I do but I'm also going to hold my peers accountable for the things that they do.

Every year, 1.7 million Americans are infected and 1000,000 die as a result of hospital acquired infections.

Spectrum Health wanted to test their vital behaviors in a campaign to improve hand hygiene. They turned to Influencer Training to create system-wide compliance, reduce infections, and save lives.

In order to focus on improved hand hygiene, people obviously have to speak up and hold people accountable. We've used both crucial conversations and crucial confrontations to really drive our cultural and behavioral change. But we understood that the dynamics in that particular space were such that we really needed to understand better those things that influenced behavior. So we've used the influencer model to be able to drive change quite frankly is going to best practice in the country.

Describe how you used the six source Influencer model to improve hand hygiene.

When we went through the six source brainstorming tool that we used, we found that we had done a lot of the interventions one at a time, sequentially over the past several years and they had been unsuccessful. The value of the six source model was the realization that there was no such thing as a silver bullet. If we were going to be successful, we had to use all of these initiatives, all of these interventions together, to drive to our goal.

What were the results of your hand hygiene Initiative?

Since we've used the influencer model, we've really seen dramatic results in hand hygiene, in compliance. Prior to using the influencer model, we were getting the kind of results that I think most of the hospital across the country get--less than 50% compliance. Since we've used this and since we've driven this cultural change, we are now in the third quarter, three quarters in a row, we've seen over 90% compliance in our hand washing and we're driving very very vigorously to 100% compliance.

Describe any lasting effects of Influencer Training.

As people have learned to hold each other accountable for something a simple as hand hygiene, it's a skills set they're using to holding to use each other accountable for other outcomes that are expected: patient safety, quality, efficiency. It really has provided us with a cultural framework to drive high performance broadly within the organization.

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