Posted on May 12, 2015

Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) recently marked the World Hand Hygiene Day (WHHD) 2015 by holding a number of activities across its eight hospitals to emphasize the importance of hand hygiene. The WHHD is a global campaign declared by the World Health Organization (WHO), which focuses on promoting good hand hygiene practices among individuals across healthcare systems.

According to WHO, every year, millions of patients globally are affected by healthcare-associated infections. More than half of these infections can be avoided with properly cleaned hands. The day-long campaign was organized at HMC by the Corporate Infection and Prevention Control Program (CIPC), under the theme “Save Lives: Clean Your Hands.” The CIPC is a strategic program that aims to develop effective infection control practices to drive continuous quality improvement within the organization.  Such practices can prevent the spread of hospital-acquired infections due to blood or other bodily fluids.

Dr. Jameela Al Ajmi, Assistant Executive Director CIPC Program, commented on the importance of the campaign: “Hand washing with soap and water has been proven to be one of the most effective and inexpensive measures to prevent the transmission of infections among healthcare professionals, patients and their families, as well as visitors at the hospital. This campaign is part of our ongoing efforts to ensure the safety and wellbeing of not only our patients but also our staff who are committed to delivering the best possible care.”

HMC celebrates World Hand 2 [].jpgDuring the campaign staff were encouraged to revisit The five key moments of hand washing defined by WHO for healthcare workers are: before touching a patient, before cleaning and aseptic procedures (insertion of devices such as catheters), after contact with bodily fluids, after touching a patient, and after touching a patient’s surroundings. 

Dr. Moza Al Ishaq, Assistant Executive Director of Corporate Risk Management at HMC, noted: “This is the third year HMC is supporting the global effort to educate the public and staff about hand hygiene. One of the major objectives of the campaign is to foster and strengthen a culture of safety at every level within healthcare facilities in Qatar. This will certainly reflect in better patient care and enhanced treatment outcomes. ”

HMC celebrates World Hand 3 [].jpgA number of educational and entertaining activities were organized as part of the awareness-raising campaign such as site visits and interaction with the visitors in hospital lobbies by a staff member from each hospital dressed in a hand-costume. The representative distributed free-of-cost hand hygiene gels and gifts to staff, patients and visiting families. Additionally, CIPC team members also visited patient clinical areas in different units to distribute educational pamphlets, engage in discussions about ways to adopt good hand hygiene practices and to demonstrate proper hand washing techniques.

HMC is also encouraging women to lead the way in establishing good hand hygiene practices among their families. “We recognize women as healthcare champions as they can instill the importance of hand hygiene in children from a very young age. This will definitely help promote a culture of prevention and safety within families which will enhance the overall health of individuals across the society,” said Dr. Huda Saleh, Acting Chair of Quality and Safety at Women’s Hospital.