Health care associated infection (HAI) is one of the most frequent adverse events in health care. Hand hygiene is an important measure to reduce HAI. Patient empowerment is recognized as an important method to improve hand hygiene adherence. In this study, we instituted a new patient empowerment program where patients and families were educated to use a Patient Empowerment Tool (PET) to remind health care providers to perform hand hygiene. See Figure 1. We performed a survey of pediatric patientsÕ parents as well as adult patients to understand their attitudes and comfort level using the PET.
Figure 1: The Patient Empowerment Tool (PET) distributed to patients and families on admission
On admission to the General Pediatric floor and 2 Adult Medicine floors, patients and their families were given a PET and encouraged to wave the PET if a health care worker did not perform hand hygiene. A survey was distributed to pediatric patientsÕ parents and to adult patients, and the survey results were compared between the two groups using Chi-Square analysis. Survey results were also analyzed to determine if participants would feel more comfortable reminding a nurse than a physician to perform hand hygiene using a FisherÕs Exact Test.
Both the adult patient and pediatric parent groups accepted the PET well, but there was no significant difference between the two groupsÕ attitudes about the PET. Analysis of the 108 adult patient and 114 pediatric parent surveys demonstrated that the majority of participants (65% of adult patients and 72% of pediatric parents) found the PET helpful to remind physicians to wash their hands. The most common reason why patients and parents cited they would not use a PET was that they were too shy. Both groups of participants felt more comfortable using a PET to remind a nurse compared to a physician to perform hand hygiene (p<0.001).
Most patients and families found the PET helpful to remind providers to perform hand hygiene. Participants felt more comfortable using a PET to remind nurses rather than physicians.
K. Gomez, None
E. Manegold, None