Targeted at healthcare staff in England and Wales, the goal of the cleanyourhands campaign was to improve hand hygiene as a way of combating preventable healthcare associated infections. Before program development began, a survey was administered to infection control teams working in acute trusts in England and Wales in order to obtain information on the barriers to hand hygiene compliance and identify existing good practices. Using the data collected, campaign developers created a toolkit and marketing materials which were then tested as part of a seven-month-long pilot, allowing members of the target audience to contribute to the program’s development and design before national roll-out took place. An invitation to participate in the newly launched cleanyourhands campaign was extended to acute trusts in England and Wales as part of a patient safety alert issued by the National Patient Safety Agency that instructed acute trusts to install alcohol handrub at the point-of-care to improve hand hygiene. The campaign was then rolled out in five waves, starting with trusts that had participated in the initial pilot. After each trust completed a three-month-long preparation period they were given the campaign’s Ready Steady Go! guide and a variety of marketing materials including posters, signs, a guidance video for use in trainings, and point-of-care prompts like reusable stickers. These materials served to raise awareness of hand hygiene and act as prompts for behavior change. Patients were encouraged to remind staff to wash their hands and staff champions for hand hygiene were selected, creating role models for best practices. To evaluate the effectiveness of campaign strategies infection control teams were surveyed every six months, NHS provided data on the procurement and usage of soap and alcohol handrub, and Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) provided the number of patient bed days per month for each trust. Data showed that the campaign was linked to sustained changes in hand hygiene behavior at the 387 participating trusts, with main elements of the campaign becoming embedded into the workplace and procurement of soap and alcohol handrub increasing threefold.
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