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After finding out that he was a perfect match to donate a kidney to his sister, Ryan Amara never questioned his decision to become an organ donor.
He also never questioned, as he recovered from his surgery, whether his care providers were doing everything possible to keep him safe, including practicing good hand hygiene.
“It’s very reassuring to know that everyone does their part to wash their hands and use gloves, not just to protect themselves but also us—the patients,” said Amara.
This week, BWH kicked off “My Health is in Your Hands,” a new hand hygiene campaign that highlights patients like Amira, who explain why the hand hygiene practices of BWH staff matter to them.
The campaign’s launch coincides with National Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 4-10. As part of the campaign, posters featuring BWH patients who share their stories of care at BWH were placed on inpatient and outpatient areas and the Community Connects televisions.
“Practicing proper hand hygiene continues to be one of the most important components of the care we provide to our patients and their families,” said BWH Epidemiologist Deborah Yokoe, MD.
Infection Control surveys inpatient units on a monthly basis to monitor hand hygiene compliance. The hospital demonstrated a 90.6 percent compliance rate in 2011, and the ultimate goal is to reach 100 percent compliance.
“It’s very achievable, and we’re well on our way to meeting it, thanks to the dedication of our staff,” said Chief Medical Officer Stan Ashley, MD.
One caregiver who prides herself on practicing good hand hygiene is Occupational Therapist Laura Garren.
“As a therapist, I’m helping patients on their road to recovery, and practicing proper hand hygiene ensures that road is free from infection,” she said.
In Central Transport Services, Byron Greer shares the same commitment to patients. “Over the course of my day, I transport between 20 and 25 patients. Washing my hands is how I help prevent the spread of infections,” said Greer.
In addition to the poster campaign, the hospital hosted other events in celebration of National Patient Safety Awareness Week. March’s Quality Rounds focused on the role of hand hygiene in preventing hospital-acquired infections, and the Center for Clinical Excellence hosted a Safety Matters survey and Kindle give-away for those who completed it.