Achieving universal health coverage for all is at the heart of this year’s WHO’s Hand Hygiene campaign; this includes access for all to quality essential healthcare services. Infection prevention control (IPC) including hand hygiene has been shown to play a crucial role in improving quality care and patient safety across health care facilities (HCFs). For this year’s campaign WHO has issued a call to action to key stakeholders in IPC and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH):
- Health workers: Champion clean care – it’s in your hands.
- IPC leaders: Monitor infection prevention and control standards – take action and improve practices.
- Health facility leaders: Is your facility up to WHO infection control and hand hygiene standards? Take part in the WHO survey 2019 and take action!
- Ministries of health: Does your country meet infection prevention and control standards? Monitor and act to achieve quality universal health coverage.
- Patient advocacy groups: Ask for clean care – it’s your right.
Part of this call to action is the invitation to take part in the 2019 WHO Global Survey on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) and Hand Hygiene. All global healthcare facilities are invited to participate and the survey is open until 16 July 2019.
There are 2 components to the survey:
- WHO Infection Prevention and Control Assessment Framework (IPCAF)
- WHO Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework (HHSAF)
Both elements assess the current IPC / hand hygiene situation in HCFs and detect key issues and shortcomings that require attention and improvement. The results can be used to develop an action plan and with repeated use over time the results can be used to monitor progress and improvement.
Environmental cleaning is an essential part of IPC. Assessing whether an area is considered “clean” is very subjective, and visibly clean may be very different from microbiologically clean (see Soapbox’s WASH & CLEAN study for more information). Within HCFs, staff who clean are the interface between WASH and IPC. They work in environments where healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are unacceptably high and the widespread use of antibiotics due to unclean, unsafe environments is driving the threat of antimicrobial resistance. This invisible workforce is often neglected and this highlights a missed opportunity for improvement of environmental hygiene.
Our TEACH CLEAN package is targeted towards this invisible workforce and presents information and materials required to deliver comprehensive, participatory training on safe environmental cleaning, applying aspects of essential IPC for these tasks.
Part of the package is a set of illustrated guidelines for a selection of the key tasks contained within cleaning procedure guidelines. This component of the package is particularly useful as a visual guide and aide-memoire for training healthcare workers with limited literacy skills and can be applied to wider facility staff.