Chief Nurse Suzanne Rankin who takes over as Chief Executive next month of Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Kate Eidens Associate Director of Nursing and Heather Caudle Deputy Chief Nurse/ Associate Director of Quality, joined patients and visitors on Wednesday (August 13) at St Peter’s Hospital for the first public demonstration of the Trust’s new SureWash hand hygiene training and assessment machine.

The Trust is the first in the UK to have one of these compact, mobile units which uses a camera, video and graphics to assess hand hygiene technique and infection control knowledge as well as provide interactive training. The Trust has put it through an intensive month-long trial in a number of wards and departments before deciding to buy.

Linda Towey, the Trust’s Consultant Nurse in Infection Prevention and Control, said: “The drive to cut hospital infections like MRSA and C.difficile has been highly successful but, for continued success, we have to ensure that everyone in contact with patients is trained in correct and effective hand hygiene techniques and uses them every time they wash their hands. It should be second nature and that’s what this unit helps them to achieve.

“The beauty of it is that it goes into wards and departments so that doctors, nurses and other staff can train and assess themselves when it is convenient rather than in a classroom at some set time.”

 

SureWash makes hand hygiene training and compliance much less labour intensive by combining an e-learning system with patented video measurement technology. The key benefits to healthcare professionals concerned with meeting the exacting hand hygiene standards set out by the NHS and the World Health Organisation are:

  • Time saved by providing e-learning anywhere in a hospital
  • 24/7 Training as the system is fully automated, mobile and easy to use
  • Money saved by reducing the labour and facilities needed to train staff
  • Compliance guaranteed by inbuilt auditing tools
  • Lives Saved by reducing infection rates*

 

Developed over eight years in Trinity College, Dublin, SureWash was trialled in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin and at the Mid Essex NHS Trust for the Department of Health. Hand hygiene rates per patient day increased by 156% and compliance with technique increased 703%.

Hand contact is the leading cause of infections according to the World Health Organisation and both the US and European Centres for Disease Control.

The Trust rented the system for one month for evaluation and various groups of healthcare staff including our Chief Executive and Medical Director carried out an assessment of the machine. Following a review of our evaluation, the Trust decided to purchase SureWash. We are now using the system as a new innovation to promote good hand hygiene technique and we are exploring other creative ways of utilising SureWash as part of our infection prevention and control programme.

 

The above picture shows from left to right: Kate Eidens Associate Director of Nursing, Catriona McLean Business Development Manager Bio-Rite, Heather Caudle Deputy Chief Nurse - Associate Director of Quality, Linda Towey Consultant Nurse in Infection Control and Prevention, Chief Nurse Suzanne Rankin and Michael Corr European Sales Director SureWash.