Every year on May 5, health care professionals around the world recognize World Hand Hygiene Day, a global movement led by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness about the importance of hand hygiene in health care. A top priority at the MGH, hand hygiene is an essential part of keeping patients and staff safe and delivering high-quality care.

“Hand hygiene is one of the most important and easiest things staff can do to prevent the spread of infection,” says Amy Courtney, MPH, RN, CIC, director of the MGH Infection Control Unit.

To help keep hand hygiene top-of-mind, MGH recently released the Hy5 app, which allows MGH staff to record hand hygiene observations. As more observations are recorded and the hospital’s hand hygiene data becomes more accurate, units and departments can use the data collected in Hy5 to target hand hygiene improvements at the local level.

In recognition of World Hand Hygiene Day, staff are encouraged to participate in a challenge using Hy5 for the chance to win gift cards to Coffee Central. On May 5, the five departments that submit the most observations will each receive $50 gift cards, and the five individuals with the most submissions will each receive $25 gift cards.

Continuing throughout the month of May, $100 Coffee Central gift cards will be awarded to departments that submit 100 or more observations, and individuals with 20 or more observations, during the month, will receive $25 gift cards.

These efforts reflect the WHO’s official slogan for World Hand Hygiene Day 2022, “Unite for safety: clean your hands.”

“By working together to improve hand hygiene, staff can create a safer MGH,” says Courtney.

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