Improving hand washing among parent attendants entering the newborn intensive care unit of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi, India
In its newborn intensive care unit (NICU), Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (a central government hospital) provides specialized care to sick newborns. Running low on staff, the hospital staff encouraged parents and attendants of sick newborns to be involved in care for their babies. This, however, also posed a high risk of infections being carried into the unit by caregiving attendants. Staff found that handwashing behaviors were poor among parent attendants.
With facilitation from USAID ASSIST, a quality improvement (QI) team of hospital staff was formed to improve hand hygiene practices among attendants. From a baseline estimate of around 20 percent of attendants complying with hand hygiene standards, the team planned to reach a target of 80 percent over eight weeks by introducing a series of changes. At the end of nine weeks, the QI team met their aim—80 percent of attendants were following standard hand hygiene practices.