April 11, 2017

IPE Grant Assists Increased Hand Hygiene Compliance Education and Training at UAMS

In Spring 2017, the Office of Interprofessional Education (IPE) awarded a $6,000 grant to Jennifer Hunt, MD, Chair of the UAMS Pathology Department Chair, for her submission, “An Innovative, Interprofessional Education and Training Platform to Increase Hand Hygiene Compliance at UAMS.”

The week-long event ran from March 27-31, 2017 with tables set up across the campus. Activities included breakfast, drawings for door prizes, and handouts such as hand sanitizer and stress balls. Employees were asked to sign hand washing pledge boards, promising to keep patients safe utilizing proper hand hygiene methods.

Interprofessional educators, including nurses, medical students, physicians, and volunteers, spent time with UAMS employees teaching proper hand washing techniques and awareness of hand hygiene concerns.

Germs show up clearly under a black light. Photo courtesy of: Kate Franks

Viewing their hands under a black light, employees were shocked to discover how many germs were transferred from a simple hand shake.

Educators also emphasized the importance of washing fingertips and under the nails, as these are high bacteria collection areas.

We are thrilled with the success of our first-ever Hand Hygiene Week.  The event could not have been possible without our amazing interprofessional volunteers and without the IPE grant funding supporting some of the costs.” said Dr. Hunt. “And, the best part is that we are not even close to finished!  The next phase of our program will be even more exciting. Watch for our launch of the interprofessional education program in the next few weeks.”

If you would like to learn more about the IPE Grant program email: ipe@uams.edu

Connie Cavanaugh demonstrates to Natasha Wilson how to properly scrub your hands to get rid of dirt around finger nails. Photo courtesy of: Kate Franks