Sycamore Shoals Hospital wins Spirit of Excellence Award for innovative hand hygiene program


ELIZABETHTON, Tenn.— Sycamore Shoals Hospital (SSH) recently received national recognition for an innovative hand hygiene program called BUMMER that has been awarded an Honorable Mention and $1,500 cash prize in the Spirit of Excellence Awards, co-sponsored by Sodexo Health Care Services and Modern Healthcare.

Bugs Under Medical Management to Eliminate Resistance (BUMMER) is a campaign designed to increase compliance in hand hygiene and use of personal protective equipment. When SSH team members saw the need to increase hand hygiene compliance in 2011, a team was appointed to find a way to raise the rates. As a result of BUMMER, compliance rates are now close to 100 percent, earning the hospital recognition among 172 nominees in the 20-year-old Spirit of Excellence Awards program designed to honor health care organizations and individuals for creative programs that serve patients and communities.

According to Leslie Johnson, RN, infection prevention practitioner and a member of the Hand Hygiene Team, one of the keys to success has been keeping employees accountable. Increased access to hygiene products and providing evidence-based educational tools to staff also is part of the program to raise awareness.

 “BUMMER has been so successful at Sycamore Shoals Hospital that it has been rolled out system-wide at Mountain States Health Alliance,” said Johnson. “Almost all cases of infection can be avoided by strictly following hand hygiene policies, so BUMMER is an important way to ensure protection for our patients.”

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