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Posts Tagged ‘World Health Organisation’

One of the early themes that I started to explore as part of my research was that of Patient Empowerment with regard to attempts to increase compliance to required Hand Hygiene standards.  This is something which has been recommended by empirical work (e.g. McGuckin et al, 1999) and the World Health Organisation (WHO),  and incorporated into strategies within the UK – for example the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) “Cleanyourhands” Campaign (2004).

However, as acknowledged by the WHO (2009) document – further work needs to be done on establishing effective ways to involve patients in the Hand Hygiene process. For example, data collected by the National Audit Office in 2009 found that only 36% of acute trusts involved in the “Cleanyourhands” Campaign believed Patient Empowerment had been achieved by the methods employed (i.e. ‘It’s Ok to Ask’ message).

To investigate this issue personally I designed a Poster entitled “Encouraging Debate: Patient Empowerment” for the Warwick Postgraduate Poster fair in 2010 – this gave me a great opportunity to talk to both other research students and staff, plus a wider audience, about the issues surrounding the involvement of patients in Hand Hygiene.  These included viewpoints about the ethical concerns regarding their role in ensuring medical staff performed their tasks to a ‘correct’ standard, how patients are supposed to understand what this ‘correct’ standard is, what pressure this ‘role’ may cause or alleviate in the patient – and also whether the Public should be involved in Hand Hygiene research, when they may not be aware of problems obtaining compliance in the first place.

A copy of this poster will be uploaded shortly – and whilst the main focus of the research has now moved away from this area I feel it is still a vital field that should be discussed, as each individual has the potential to one day be a patient – the question being, would you challenge a Healthcare Worker over their Hand Hygiene behaviour?

Cited References:

  • McGuckin M et al. (1999). Patient education model for increasing handwashing compliance. American Journal of Infection Control. V, 27, pp. 309-314.
  • National Audit Office (2009). Reducing Healthcare Associated Infections in Hospitals in England report by the Comptroller and Auditor General. HC 560 Session 2008-2009.
  • National Patient Safety Agency (2004). “Cleanyourhands Campaign” data available online at: http://www.npsa.nhs.uk/cleanyourhands/
  • World Health Organisation. (2009). WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care: First Global Patient Safety Challenge Clean Care is Safer Care. Geneva: WHO Press.

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