Coachspeak: How UMHS assists units with hand hygiene compliance

August 12, 2016  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources,

The UMHS hand hygiene coaches, from left: Marci Brown, Jill Cone-Holden and Missy Mazur.

When it comes to hand hygiene compliance, it takes a total team effort. From leadership engagement to reminding colleagues about washing to removing barriers within a unit, everyone at UMHS has a role to play to ensure that we provide the safest possible environment for our patients.

What some employees may not realize is that there are dedicated staff members committed to assisting units in achieving the best possible hand hygiene performance.

Hand hygiene compliance is a UMHS and industry-wide initiative that is aimed at enhancing patient safety and experiences.

“We are here to support the units in any way we can, offering encouragement, education and real-time feedback,” said Jill Cone-Holden, one of three hand hygiene coaches at UMHS.

“We approach people and thank them for cleaning, or remind them of the expectations,” Cone-Holden said. “This often opens up an opportunity for further conversation and identification of barriers.”

Cone-Holden and others take feedback from those conversations and attempt to find a solution to any obstacle that stands in the way of 100-percent compliance within a unit.

Since the coaches have started making their rounds, Cone-Holden said they have built positive relationships with nurses, physicians, technicians and other leaders in each unit. In essence, everyone at UMHS is working to build a culture of compliance.

Cone-Holden emphasized this team approach, saying, “Our team not only provides coaching, we also train health care workers to coach each other.”

If you’d like to see the latest hand hygiene compliance scores from UMHS, click here.

And if you’d like to schedule a visit with a hand hygiene coach, email Cone-Holden at