Making It Count Like Never Before: Over 15,000 Hands Cleaned Across Ontario for Germgo’s Clean Hands Challenge
MISSISSAUGA – Germgo, the leading provider of hand sanitizer solutions and initiatives to hospitals since 2009, has just completed the 2014 Clean Hands Challenge, its first annual traveling hand hygiene awareness event. The innovative campaign took the Germgo team from the Niagara Health System in St. Catharines this past June, to its final event at Halton Oakville-Trafalgar Hospital in October. In total, more than 15,000 Canadians took the challenge, exceeding all expectations for interest and participation, and affirming that, when it comes to hand hygiene and the prevention of infectious diseases, all of us truly want to “make it count.”
The challenge was designed to educate Canadians on the importance of proper hand hygiene practices while interactively increasing hand cleaning compliance. Events were held at high traffic entrance locations within each hospital, maximizing participation, impact, and the number of hands cleaned. Germgo Hand Cleaning Ambassadors were on-hand to generate buzz, excitement and participation through educational demonstrations and incentives. The specially designed hand cleaning station also featured a real- time counter, displaying counts as pumps were recorded. Final counts of each event were tabulated, in an effort to announce a unified final number of participants.
Germgo is no stranger to developing unique strategies for better hand hygiene compliance. Over the last five years, the shared revenue-generating program has successfully sustained itself by advertising and is now running in over 40 Ontario hospitals – and growing.
“We really wanted to create an event that would be interactive, educational and fun – and we wanted to do it in a way that hasn’t been done before. In a world where Ebola, H1N1, SARS and other infectious viruses are a constant threat, we knew we had a responsibility to get involved and reach people in new ways,” explains Reg Littlefield, Founder and CEO of Germgo.
Stops on the tour this summer and fall included William Osler Health System, Rouge Valley Health System, UHN Toronto Western, UHN Toronto Rehab and more. The campaign’s simple but fitting campaign message, ‘Make it Count’ gained considerable momentum via Germgo’s ever-expanding social media network, attracting additional inquiries and attention from other health care systems. Germgo’s Hand Cleaning Ambassadors “live tweeted” and snapped photos of participants wearing the ‘I Made it Count’ sticker, literally spreading the word beyond the hospital walls.
A particular highlight of the campaign took place at Lakeridge Oshawa, where Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health for the government of Ontario, was in attendance and praised the proactive nature of Germgo’s approach. Hoskins and associates eagerly participated in the event, and in a show of solidarity to our campaign, wore the stickers with the campaign slogan throughout the hospital tour.
“We want each person to know that they play a critical role in infection prevention, and good hand hygiene practices are for everyday life, not just at the hospital,” explained Littlefield. “With a combined effort of over 15,000 participants, I think it’s clear we truly ‘made it count.’ “
The Clean Hands Challenge will return this year, as Germgo and crew are planning an aggressive expansion, which will see the program and campaign partnering with health care facilities across the country.