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3 Novice


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  • Country
    United Kingdom

About me

  • About me
    Interest in advancing knowledge and improving practice in relation to the quality and safety of health care delivery
  • Organisation
    S3 Global
  • Role
    Founder and director

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  1. Content Article
    Hand hygiene has had a high prominence in the context of COVID-19 during the past year. World Hand Hygiene Day, celebrated each year on the 5 May, and led by the World Health Organization (WHO), presents an annual opportunity to keep this important patient safety intervention firmly on the international and national agenda beyond a global pandemic. This year we are prompted not to forget the critical times for hand hygiene, and particularly the valuable role that healthcare workers and all those who support them play, in achieving effective hand hygiene action at the point of care. Campaigns play many roles, not least an important one in sustainability,[1] periodically boosting interest and focus on an issue of concern, in this case hand hygiene in healthcare. They prompt their stakeholders to remember important things that can get overlooked in the day to day noise. This year’s theme builds on the 2020 COVID-19 driven call for universal hand hygiene.[2] However, while COVID-19 placed a spotlight on hand hygiene like never before, other infectious diseases are still out there (including those resistant to antibiotics). As a public health problem, one of the last published global reports highlighted that healthcare-associated infections constituted the most frequent adverse event in healthcare.[3] These infections continue to cause harm and death in hospitals and other care settings across the world, destroying too many lives. Hand hygiene at the right moment[4] is therefore a powerful intervention to stop their spread and historically was referred to as the single most important measure in infection prevention and control. But I do like the emerging mantra of Do It All. Hand hygiene is in fact often one of many interventions that when undertaken reliably and at the right time keep people safe. We should perhaps gravitate more towards this way of framing and embedding hand hygiene (and other activities and interventions). COVID-19 is a great example of the need for integrated and synergistic action. Measures that protect people from harm and keep them safe should not be pitched in competition with each other, and those involved must collaborate for greatest impact. In a previous blog post[5] I recalled an excellent piece in the New Yorker by Michael Specter written on the back of the Ebola outbreak of 2014/15.[6] In it he reflected on our response to pandemics: “First, there is the panic. Then, as the pandemic ebbs, we forget. We can’t afford to do either.” We should not forget anything about this pandemic. Hand hygiene in healthcare is one small but important part of keeping people safe. As WHO state, yes we should “do it all”, and yes, hand hygiene at the point of care is important and should be a constant feature of safe, high quality healthcare. We shouldn’t forget that. This and every World Hand Hygiene day helps to make sure that we don’t. References Mathai E, Allegranzi B, Kilpatrick C et al. Promoting hand hygiene in healthcare through national/subnational campaigns. J Hosp Infect 2011:77(4):294-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2010.10.012. WHO. Recommendations to Member States to improve hand hygiene practices to help prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Interim guidance. 1 April 2020. WHO. Report on the Burden of Endemic Health Care-Associated Infection Worldwide. Clean Care is Safer Care. 2011. WHO. Your 5 moments for hand hygiene. 2009. Kilpatrick C, Storr J. The 13,268. SafeSaferSafest. 8 November 2014. Specter M. The fear equation. The New Yorker. 12 October 2014.
  2. Article Comment
    It's good to shine a light on certain important interventions such as hand hygiene in healthcare, and this is why such days exist. WHO, with its May 5 annual campaign on hand hygiene in health care https://www.who.int/infection-prevention/campaigns/clean-hands/en/, and this complementary Global Handwashing day campaign. Both can and should work in synergy - and this is part of sustaining improvement. It's no accident that both campaigns occur in the months they do - May 5th (representing the 5 digits on a hand and reinforcing the 5 Moments) and October (tenth month, ten digits). Together, at the very least, we have a global focus on the fact that hand hygiene in healthcare and beyond remains a [patient safety] problem, not yet solved and that this focus occurs every six months can only be a good thing. Important not to overlook that from a patient safety perspective hand hygiene could be described as a modifiable behavioural risk factor for the development of a devastating and fatal healthcare associated infection. Finally, many people choose to use edutainment to promote better adherence with recommended hand hygiene. This paper that I prepared earlier with colleagues here and in Australia may be of interest to those considering developing their own edutainment approaches: https://www.ajicjournal.org/article/S0196-6553(18)30575-3/abstract
  3. Community Post
    Great point. Interested to hear others thoughts. Sitting here in the Patient Safety Learning conference today it’s clear we need both - exec leadership is critical for a safety culture (and this is of course backed up by studies), but growing acknowledgement of the importance of distributed leadership & role modelling and empowerment at different levels of a health system.
  4. Community Post
    My first thought on coming to this community was, is it a bit abstract to be talking about leadership in a sub-community of a patient safety learning platform, when in the real world leadership is part of, or influences so many of the other sub-communities (culture, patient engagement, patient safety learning itself, to name but a few). However, I can definitely see the value in creating a special space to explore and stimulate some cross-fertilisation of ideas and learning on leadership for patient safety. It would be great to get some ideas flowing on how patient safety leaders across all levels of health care could use this community. I’ve found that leadership in the academic literature is sometimes a little vague, it’s common to see “leadership is critical for [X-aspect of] patient safety” written in various ways, but when you try and drill down on concrete examples of what that means it can be frustratingly non-specific. Could we start by stimulating some sharing of tangible real-world examples or vignettes that describe how leadership/leadership development is linked to making care safer or addressing a patient safety-related problem. This may mean infiltrating or drawing on some of the parallel discussions in other sub-forums and seeding the leadership angle into these discussions!
  5. Content Article
    The paper summarises the literature on the use of simulation with many examples of application in the field of patient safety. It explores the evidence on the impact of simulation. It goes on to suggest four areas where QI and simulation practitioners interested in closer integration of their fields might focused: Read - add articles found in quality/safety or simulation journals that integrate both fields onto your reading list. Study - seek out professional development opportunities: courses, workshops, conferences in QI methodology or simulation/debriefing. Collaborate - identify individuals in your local institution and find ways to work (and research) together. Engage - connect with the larger community of practice working on these topics via in-person meetings or platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn.