September 5, 2008
Can you spot the hand hygiene noncompliance?

cal statIn an effort to help employees better understand the MGH's hand hygiene requirements, MGH Hotline periodically will run brief scenarios describing an instance of noncompliance with the hospital's hand hygiene standards along with the correct action that should have been taken. Below is the first such example.

Question
A nurse is working on a computer in the hallway and hears an alarm coming from a machine in her patient's room. She gets up, enters the room, looks at her patient and sees that he is resting comfortably. The nurse then reads the display on the patient's machine and reaches over to cancel the alarm. She then steps out of the room and uses Cal Stat before returning to the computer. What did she do wrong?

Answer
The nurse did not use Cal Stat before touching the equipment in the room, which is part of the patient's environment. Hand hygiene always must be practiced both before and after contact with the patient or patient's environment.

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