Best practices for designing your hand hygiene audit form

Learnings on hand hygiene audit form design from helping +100 hospitals implement hand hygiene auditing programs.

If you’re setting up or enhancing your hand hygiene auditing program, correctly designing your audit form has many benefits. 

A well designed form can save staff time. It can ensure you meet regulatory requirements. And, it can generate the insights you need to guide effective quality improvement efforts. 

Here’s best practices that you can implement in your own organization that the Qualaris team has learned from helping +100 customers implement hand hygiene auditing programs.

Build more staff buy-in through a collaborative process

In the rush to get started and to make improvements, you may feel the temptation to hunker down by yourself and get to work. But, you’d miss a great opportunity.

Many Qualaris customers use the design process to build staff buy-in - engaging staff in a collaborative process designing your data collection tools. 

Consider checking in with auditors for upfront input on what they like or dislike about your current hand hygiene audit form. Plan into your setup process opportunities for your auditors to test out your form and request adjustments. You don’t need to spend a lot of time on it, but the process of asking for feedback can make a big difference for staff.

Make sure your form includes the right data elements

Here’s a quick overview of the hand hygiene audit form fields most commonly used by Qualaris customers:

  • Date - date of the observation
  • Auditor - the individual collecting the data
  • Unit/Dept - the location where the observation took place
  • Occupation/Role - the role of the person who was observed
  • Shift - a simple Day/Night option makes it easier to identify opportunities for improvement and helps demonstrate that your program is auditing all days and all shifts.
  • Hand Hygiene Opportunity - at minimum, audits should evaluate entry/exit for patient rooms. Alternatively, audits can evaluate the 5 Moments of Hand Hygiene defined by the World Health Organization. The majority of Qualaris customers prefer entry/exit 
  • Hand Hygiene Compliance - at minimum, audit forms should evaluate whether hand hygiene was completed. As needed, some Qualaris customers prefer to add additional compliance-related questions explicitly evaluating technique, correct method (i.e. soap & water vs sanitizer), optional evaluation of glove/PPE.
  • Hygiene Method - tracking the hand hygiene method (i.e. soap & water vs sanitizer) can help you understand what practices are being evaluated and can be compared against product usage rates to figure out if there’s important blind spots in your auditing program.

Head over to our topic library to check out interactive templates for hand hygiene and more.

Save staff time by using conditional logic to streamline data entry

If you’re using a software system to collect your hand hygiene audits, conditional logic rules can be a great resource for streamlining audit collection for staff.

  • Hide dependent fields like Hygiene Method - audit forms often have follow up questions after hand hygiene is observed. What method did you observe? Was it the correct method? Adding rules to only show these types of questions if a question like “hand hygiene completed?” is marked “yes” will keep your form streamlined.
  • Organize large location lists with additional hierarchy - if you’re creating a hand hygiene audit form for a large facility with many units/depts, consider adding some additional location hierarchy. If you have multiple buildings, you could include a facility field with rules to pare down your unit/depts list based on facility selection. Similarly, you could consider a field like Area used to pare down units by categories like inpatient, outpatient, etc..

Meet requirements for Leapfrog Group surveys by tracking auditor feedback on your form

The Leapfrog Group has progressively raised the bar on their surveys for hand hygiene. The requirement for auditors to provide feedback to those observed is one that can be readily tracked right on your form. Adding field like “feedback provided?” with options like “Positive feedback provided”, “Constructive feedback provided”, and “No feedback provided” will serve as a prompt for auditors to adopt this practice and track when and how it happens.

When in doubt, keep things simple to start

There’s a tendency when you get started to want to plan for everything you might potentially need in an audit form. Before you know it, your form looks like a homework assignment and staff eye’s are glazing over

If you’re interested in learning more about hand hygiene auditing, feel free to reach out.

The Qualaris team is happy to answer any questions you have for us!

Additional online resources for hand hygiene:

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