Conemaugh Memorial is Leaping into Hand Hygiene

August 1, 2018

Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center is committed to patient safety and is launching a fun campaign to remind patients, visitors, and employees of the importance of hand hygiene. The campaign features a frog graphic and the acronym F.R.O.G., which stands for Friction Rubs Out Germs.

“Handwashing is critical to maintaining a safe, healthy environment for our patients,” says Elizabeth Dunmore, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs for Conemaugh Memorial. “Our employees are already exceptional at performing effective hand hygiene. We are using this campaign as a fun reminder to keep this priority a focus for all of their daily activities.”

The proper method for handwashing is using soap and warm water, and scrubbing for at least 30 seconds on the front and back of hands, in between fingers, and don’t forget your thumbs! “Friction is the key to effective handwashing,” says Lisa Hoegg, Director of Quality Excellence at Conemaugh Memorial. “It’s important to rub your hands together to remove germs.” If soap and water are not readily available, gel sanitizers are an alternative.

Patients are encouraged to be advocates for their own health and ask healthcare providers if they have washed their hands prior to delivering care. “We want our patients to speak up if they have any concerns,” says Dunmore. “Our staff is also available to teach patients how to perform their own hand hygiene to keep themselves safe.” Packets of individual hand cleansing wipes are also available to patients upon request.

Commitment to Patient Safety

Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center earned its second consecutive ‘A’ rating for its efforts in protecting patients from harm and meeting the highest safety standards in the United States. The recognition is from The Leapfrog Group, a Washington D.C. based organization aiming to improve health care quality and safety for consumers and purchasers. Conemaugh Memorial also earned an ‘A’ for Fall 2017.

The Safety Grade assigns an A, B, C, D, or F grade to hospitals across the country based on performance in preventing medical errors, infections, and other harms among patients in their care. In the Spring 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, only 750 hospitals in the United States received an ‘A’ grade, including Conemaugh Memorial.