As a quality improvement leader through its Hospital Engagement Network, created by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ national Partnership for Patients and its Leading Edge Advanced Practice Topics initiative, the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) continues to uphold a 100-year commitment to care quality. The OHA’s highly successful hand-hygiene program is a signature example of that commitment, which has garnered the organization an honorable mention for the American Hospital Association's 2016 Dick Davidson Quality Milestone Award.

“Our hand-hygiene compliance rate is now 84 percent, compared with a 68 percent national compliance rate,” says Mike Abrams, OHA president and CEO. “We are definitely making the kind of progress we need to; and we are using the good results to further expand the program and inspire even more hospitals to participate.”

Since 2010, specially trained student nurses have made more than a million “secret shopper” hand-hygiene observations at more than 100 participating Ohio hospitals and nursing facilities. As a result, hand-hygiene compliance has doubled in five years, contributing to a 48 percent decrease in hospital-acquired infections. Data for these real-time observations are entered electronically through an iPad application developed by the OHA specifically for the initiative. They’re quickly aggregated, allowing hospitals to compare their compliance with other participating facilities' while providing same-day feedback on internal staff compliance.

“Through our work and early noteworthy results, we’ve inspired a lot of our members to collaborate with colleagues and competitors alike,” Abrams says. “Our quality outcomes strengthen our united voice to policymakers and our commitment to ensure a healthy Ohio.”

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