A hands-on approach to hand hygiene

September 27, 2016  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees

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Cathy Overholt takes a hands-on approach to her job. Literally.

Overholt, a patient care technician in the pre-op PACU at University Hospital and Mott Children’s Hospital, loves working on crafts and creating artwork in her time away from the hospital.

And recently, she said she started to see signs and posters hanging across the health system encouraging employees to practice hand hygiene.

So she decided to use her passion to help encourage and remind her colleagues to keep their hands clean.

“I know just how important it is to wash your hands,” Overholt said. “It’s encouraged every day [within UMHS] and it is essential to keeping our patients safe. So one day something just hit me to start creating ID badge holders.”

Overholt takes the old caps to medicine bottles and decorates them with soapy hands or catchy hand hygiene slogans.  The gadgets are then attached to ID badges and serve as reminders to both the staff who use them and their colleagues.

Overholt’s artwork is not limited to hand hygiene reminders. She has created dozens of other badge holders with dogs, cats, flowers, university logos and anything else a coworker may request.

“My colleagues really enjoy them,” Overholt said. “And that’s all the matters. If they’re happy, I’m happy.”

Overholt’s artwork and dedication to hand hygiene expands beyond her unit, where her efforts have been recognized by the Anesthesiology Quality Improvement Program (AQIP). The Department of Anesthesiology wanted to honor Overholt for her hard work and dedication, so it has paid for the production of 50 unique badge holders for any UMHS employee interested in using one.

If you would like your own hand hygiene ID badge, please fill out this form. The first 50 employees to fill out the form will receive a badge.

And if you’d like more information about hand hygiene or to find out how you can help encourage compliance across the health system, check out the infection prevention website.