Healthcare-associated infections affect 10% of patients in Canadian acute-care hospitals and are significant and preventable causes of morbidity and mortality among hospitalized patients. Hand hygiene is among the simplest and most effective preventive measures to reduce these infections. However, compliance with hand hygiene among healthcare workers, specifically among physicians, is consistently suboptimal. We aim to first identify the barriers and enablers to physician hand hygiene compliance, and then to develop and pilot a theory-based knowledge translation intervention to increase physicians’ compliance with best hand hygiene practice.
The study consists of three phases. In Phase 1, we will identify barriers and enablers to hand hygiene compliance by physicians. This will include: key informant interviews with physicians and residents using a structured interview guide, informed by the Theoretical Domains Framework; nonparticipant observation of physician/resident hand hygiene audit sessions; and focus groups with hand hygiene experts. In Phase 2, we will conduct intervention mapping to develop a theory-based knowledge translation intervention to improve physician hand hygiene compliance. Finally, in Phase 3, we will pilot the knowledge translation intervention in four patient care units.
In this study, we will use a behavioural theory approach to obtain a better understanding of the barriers and enablers to physician hand hygiene compliance. This will provide a comprehensive framework on which to develop knowledge translation interventions that may be more successful in improving hand hygiene practice. Upon completion of this study, we will refine the piloted knowledge translation intervention so it can be tested in a multi-site cluster randomized controlled trial.
MedSense is an electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring system that provides Infection Control Practitioners with continuous access to hand hygiene compliance information by monitoring Moments 1 and 4 of the WHO "My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene" guidelines. Unlike previous electronic monitoring systems, MedSense operates in open cubicles with multiple beds and does not disrupt existing workflows.
This study was conducted in a 6-bed neurosurgical intensive care unit with technical development and evaluation phases. Healthcare workers (HCWs) wore an electronic device in the style of an identity badge to detect hand hygiene opportunities and compliance. We compared the compliance determined by the system and an infection control nurse. At the same time, the system assessed compliance by time of day, day of week, work shift, professional category of HCWs, and individual subject, while the workload of HCWs was monitored by measuring the amount of time they spent in patient zones.
During the three-month evaluation phase, the system identified 13,694 hand hygiene opportunities from 17 nurses, 3 physiotherapists, and 1 healthcare assistant, resulting in an overall compliance of 35.1% for the unit. The per-indication compliance for Moment 1, 4, and simultaneous 1 and 4 were 21.3% (95%CI: 19.0, 23.6), 39.6% (95%CI: 37.3, 41.9), and 49.2% (95%CI: 46.6, 51.8), respectively, and were all statistically significantly different (p < 0.001). In the four 20-minute sessions when hand hygiene was monitored concurrently by the system and infection control nurse, the compliance were 88.9% and 95.6% respectively (p = 0.34), and the activity indices were 11.1 and 12.9 opportunities per hour, respectively. The hours from 12:00 to 14:00 had a notably lower compliance (21.3%, 95%CI: 17.2, 25.3) than nearly three quarters of the other periods of the day (p < 0.001). Nurses who used shared badges had significantly (p < 0.01) lower compliance (23.7%, 95%CI: 17.8, 29.6) than both the registered nurses (36.1%, 95%CI: 34.2, 37.9) and nursing officers (34.0%, 95%CI: 31.1, 36.9) who used named badges.
MedSense provides an unobtrusive and objective measurement of hand hygiene compliance. The information is important for staff training by the infection control team and allocation of manpower by hospital administration.
Good hand hygiene compliance is essential to prevent nosocomial infections in healthcare settings. Direct observation of hand hygiene compliance is the gold standard but is time consuming. An electronic dispenser with built-in wireless recording equipment allows continuous monitoring of its usage. The purpose of this study was to monitor the use of alcohol-based hand rub dispensers with a built-in electronic counter in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) setting and to determine compliance with hand hygiene protocols by direct observation.
A one-year observational study was conducted at a 27 bed level III NICU at a university hospital. All healthcare workers employed at the NICU participated in the study. The use of bedside dispensers was continuously monitored and compliance with hand hygiene was determined by random direct observations.
A total of 258,436 hand disinfection events were recorded; i.e. a median (interquartile range) of 697 (559–840) per day. The median (interquartile range) number of hand disinfection events performed per healthcare worker during the day, evening, and night shifts was 13.5 (10.8 - 16.7), 19.8 (16.3 - 24.1), and 16.6 (14.2 - 19.3), respectively. In 65.8% of the 1,168 observations of patient contacts requiring hand hygiene, healthcare workers fully complied with the protocol.
We conclude that the electronic devices provide useful information on frequency, time, and location of its use, and also reveal trends in hand disinfection events over time. Direct observations offer essential data on compliance with the hand hygiene protocol. In future research, data generated by the electronic devices can be supplementary used to evaluate the effectiveness of hand hygiene promotion campaigns.
Background. It is a fact that hand hygiene prevents nosocomial infection, but compliance with recommended instructions is commonly poor. The purpose of this study was to implement a hand hygiene program for increase compliance with hand hygiene and its relationship with nosocomial infection (NI) and MRSA infection/colonization rates. Methods. Compliance to hand hygiene was evaluated in a hospital by direct observation and measured of health care-associated infections, including methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, before and after an educational intervention, using visual poster, colorful stamps, and feedback of the results. Results. Overall compliance did not increase during intervention, only handwashing before and after patient contact has improved from 40% to 76% (P = 0.01) for HCWs, but NI and MRSA rates remained high and stable. Conclusion. In a combination of high prevalence of NI and low compliance to hand hygiene, the programme of measure does not motivate the HCW hand hygiene. Future interventions should employ incremental evaluation to develop effective hand hygiene initiatives.
The National University Hospital, Singapore routinely undertakes standardized Hand Hygiene auditing with results produced by ward and by staff type. In 2010 concern was raised over consistently low compliance by nursing students averaging 45% (95% CI 42%–48%) prompting us to explore novel approaches to educating our next generation of nurses to improve their hand hygiene practice.
We introduced an experiential learning assignment to final year student nurses on attachment to NUH inclusive of hand hygiene auditor training followed by a period of hand hygiene observation. The training was based on the World Health Organisation (WHO) “My 5 moments for hand hygiene” approach. Upon completion students completed an anonymous questionnaire to evaluate their learning experience.
By 2012, nursing students were 40% (RR: 1.4, 95% CI 1.3–1.5, p<0.001) more likely to comply with hand hygiene practices. 97.5% (359/368) of nursing students felt that the experience would enhance their own hand hygiene practice and would recommend participating in audits as a learning instrument.
With consideration of all stakeholders a sustainable, flexible, programme was implemented. Experiential learning of hand hygiene was a highly valued educational tool and in our project was directly associated with improved hand hygiene compliance. Feedback demonstrated popularity amongst participants and success in achieving its program objectives. While this does not guarantee long term behavioural change it is intuitive that instilling good habits and messages at the early stages of a career will potentially have significant long-term impact.
Compliance; Hand hygiene; Infection control; Nursing students; Nursing education
Hand hygiene compliance is generally assessed by observation of adherence to the “WHO five moments” using numbers of opportunities as the denominator. The quality of the activity is usually not monitored since there is no established methodology for the routine assessment of hand hygiene technique. The aim of this study was to objectively assess hand rub coverage of staff using a novel imaging technology and to look for patterns and trends in missed areas after the use of WHO’s 6 Step technique.
A hand hygiene education and assessment program targeted 5200 clinical staff over 7 days at the National University Hospital, Singapore. Participants in small groups were guided by professional trainers through 5 educational stations, which included technique-training and UV light assessment supported by digital photography of hands. Objective criteria for satisfactory hand hygiene quality were defined a priori. The database of images created during the assessment program was analyzed subsequently. Patterns of poor hand hygiene quality were identified and linked to staff demographic.
Despite the assessment taking place immediately after the training, only 72% of staff achieved satisfactory coverage. Failure to adequately clean the dorsal and palmar aspects of the hand occurred in 24% and 18% of the instances, respectively. Fingertips were missed by 3.5% of subjects. The analysis based on 4642 records showed that nurses performed best (77% pass), and women performed better than men (75% vs. 62%, p<0.001). Further risk indicators have been identified regarding age and occupation.
Ongoing education and training has a vital role in improving hand hygiene compliance and technique of clinical staff. Identification of typical sites of failure can help to develop improved training.
Hand hygiene prescriptions are the most important measure in the prevention of hospital-acquired infections. Yet, compliance rates are generally below 50% of all opportunities for hand hygiene. This study aims at evaluating the short- and long-term effects of two different strategies for promoting hand hygiene in hospital nurses.
This study is a cluster randomised controlled trial with inpatient wards as the unit of randomisation. Guidelines for hand hygiene will be implemented in this study. Two strategies will be used to improve the adherence to guidelines for hand hygiene. The state-of-the-art strategy is derived from the literature and includes education, reminders, feedback, and targeting adequate products and facilities. The extended strategy also contains activities aimed at influencing social influence in groups and enhancing leadership. The unique contribution of the extended strategy is built upon relevant behavioural science theories. The extended strategy includes all elements of the state-of-the-art strategy supplemented with gaining active commitment and initiative of ward management, modelling by informal leaders at the ward, and setting norms and targets within the team. Data will be collected at four points in time, with six-month intervals. An average of 3,000 opportunities for hand hygiene in approximately 900 nurses will be observed at each time point.
Performing and evaluating an implementation strategy that also targets the social context of teams may considerably add to the general body of knowledge in this field. Results from our study will allow us to draw conclusions on the effects of different strategies for the implementation of hand hygiene guidelines, and based on these results we will be able to define a preferred implementation strategy for hospital based nursing.
The study is registered as a Clinical Trial in ClinicalTrials.gov, dossier number: NCT00548015.
The role of hand hygiene in preventing health care associated infections (HCAIs) has been clearly established. However, compliance rates remain poor among health care personnel.
a) To investigate the health care workers’ hand hygiene compliance rates in the intensive care unit (ICU), b) to assess reasons for non-compliance and c) to study the efficacy of a multimodal intervention strategy at improving compliance.
A mixed medical–surgical ICU of a tertiary level hospital.
A before–after prospective, observational, intervention study.
Materials and Methods:
All health care personnel who came in contact with patients in the ICU were observed for their hand hygiene compliance before and after a multimodal intervention strategy (education, posters, verbal reminders and easy availability of products). A self-report questionnaire was also circulated to assess perceptions regarding compliance. Statistical analysis was done using χ2 test or Fisher exact test (Epi info software).
Hand hygiene compliance among medical personnel working in the ICU was 26% and the most common reason cited for non-compliance was lack of time (37%). The overall compliance improved significantly following the intervention to 57.36% (P<0.000). All health care worker groups showed significant improvements: staff nurses (21.48–61.59%, P<0.0000), nursing students (9.86–33.33%, P<0.0000), resident trainees (21.62–60.71%, P<0.0000), visiting consultants (22–57.14%, P=0.0001), physiotherapists (70–75.95%, P=0.413) and paramedical staff (10.71–55.45%, P< 0.0000).
Hand hygiene compliance among health care workers in the ICU is poor; however, intervention strategies, such as the one used, can be useful in improving the compliance rates significantly.
Hand hygiene compliance; intensive care unit; multimodal intervention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health Care Settings was issued in 2002. In 2003, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) established complying with the CDC Guideline as a National Patient Safety Goal for 2004. This goal has been maintained through 2006. The CDC's emphasis on the use of alcohol-based hand rubs (ABHRs) rather than soap and water was an opportunity to improve compliance, but the Guideline contained over 40 specific recommendations to implement.
To use the Six Sigma process to examine hand hygiene practices and increase compliance with the CDC hand hygiene recommendations required by JCAHO.
Six Sigma Project with pre-post design.
Physicians, nurses, and other staff working in 4 intensive care units at 3 hospitals.
Observed compliance with 10 required hand hygiene practices, mass of ABHR used per month per 100 patient-days, and staff attitudes and perceptions regarding hand hygiene reported by questionnaire.
Observed compliance increased from 47% to 80%, based on over 4,000 total observations. The mass of ABHR used per 100 patient-days in 3 intensive care units (ICUs) increased by 97%, 94%, and 70%; increases were sustained for 9 months. Self-reported compliance using the questionnaire did not change. Staff reported increased use of ABHR and increased satisfaction with hand hygiene practices and products.
The Six Sigma process was effective for organizing the knowledge, opinions, and actions of a group of professionals to implement the CDC's evidence-based hand hygiene practices in 4 ICUs. Several tools were developed for widespread use.
hand hygiene; alcohol-based hand rub; JCAHO National Patient Safety Goals; Six Sigma; intensive care units
Computer keyboards and mice are potential reservoirs of nosocomial pathogens, but routine disinfection for non-water-proof computer devices is a problem. With better hand hygiene compliance of health-care workers (HCWs), the impact of these potential sources of contamination on clinical infection needs to be clarified.
This study was conducted in a 1600-bed medical center of southern Taiwan with 47 wards and 282 computers. With education and monitoring program of hand hygiene for HCWs, the average compliance rate was 74% before our surveillance. We investigated the association of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii, three leading hospital-acquired pathogens, from ward computer keyboards, mice and from clinical isolates in non-outbreak period by pulsed field gel electrophoresis and antibiogram.
Our results revealed a 17.4% (49/282) contamination rate of these computer devices by S. aureus, Acinetobacter spp. or Pseudomonas spp. The contamination rates of MRSA and A. baumannii in the ward computers were 1.1% and 4.3%, respectively. No P. aeruginosa was isolated. All isolates from computers and clinical specimens at the same ward showed different pulsotypes. However, A. baumannii isolates on two ward computers had the same pulsotype.
With good hand hygiene compliance, we found relatively low contamination rates of MRSA, P. aeruginosa and A. baumannii on ward computer interface, and without further contribution to nosocomial infection. Our results suggested no necessity of routine culture surveillance in non-outbreak situation.
This study was a cross sectional descriptive survey of acute care hospitals in California to describe staff hand hygiene compliance and related predictors, and explore the relationship between hand hygiene adherence to health care-associated infections. Although there was a relatively small sample size, institutions with morning huddles reported a significantly higher proportion of ≥95% hand hygiene compliance. Huddles are an organizational tool to improve teamwork and communication and may offer promise to influence hand hygiene adherence.
Hand hygiene adherence; systems-level factors; huddles; health care-associated infection
Hand hygiene is the most effective measure for preventing infections related to healthcare, and its impact on the reduction of these infections is estimated at 50%. Non-compliance has been highlighted in several studies in hospitals, although none have been carried out in primary healthcare.
To evaluated the effect of a "Hand Hygiene for the reduction of healthcare-associated infections" training program for primary healthcare workers, measured by variation from correct hand hygiene compliance, according to regulatory and specific criteria, 6 months after the baseline, in the intervention group (group receiving a training program) and in the control group (a usual clinical practice).
-To describe knowledges, attitudes and behaviors as regards hand hygiene among the professionals, and their possible association with "professional burnout", stratifying the results by type of group (intervention and usual clinical practice).
-To estimate the logistic regression model that best explains hand hygiene compliance.
Experimental study of parallel groups, with a control group, and random assignment by Health Center.
Area of study.- Health centers in north-eastern Madrid (Spain).
Sample studied.- Healthcare workers (physicians, odontostomatologists, pediatricians, nurses, dental hygienists, midwife and nursing auxiliaries).
Intervention.- A hand hygiene training program, including a theoretical-practical workshop, provision of alcohol-based solutions and a reminder strategy in the workplace.
Other variables: sociodemographic and professional knowledges, attitudes, and behaviors with regard to hand hygiene.
Statistical Analysis: descriptive and inferential, using multivariate methods (covariance analysis and logistic regression).
This study will provide valuable information on the prevalence of hand hygiene non-compliance, and improve healthcare.
Public health authorities have recognized lack of hand hygiene in hospitals as one of the important causes of preventable mortality and morbidity at population level. The implementation strategy ACCOMPLISH (Actively Creating COMPLIance Saving Health) targets both individual and environmental determinants of hand hygiene. This study aims to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a multicomponent implementation strategy aimed at the reduction of healthcare associated infections in Dutch hospital care, by promotion of hand hygiene.
The ACCOMPLISH package will be evaluated in a two-arm cluster randomised trial in 16 hospitals in the Netherlands, in one intensive care unit and one surgical ward per hospital.
A multicomponent package, including e-learning, team training, introduction of electronic alcohol based hand rub dispensers and performance feedback.
The primary outcome measure will be the observed hand hygiene compliance rate, measured at baseline and after 6, 12 and 18 months; as a secondary outcome measure the prevalence of healthcare associated infections will be measured at the same time points. Process indicators of the intervention will be collected pre and post intervention. An ex-post economic evaluation of the ACCOMPLISH package from a healthcare perspective will be performed.
Multilevel analysis, using mixed linear modelling techniques will be conducted to assess the effect of the intervention strategy on the overall compliance rate among healthcare workers and on prevalence of healthcare associated infections. Questionnaires on process indicators will be analysed with multivariable linear regression, and will include both behavioural determinants and determinants of innovation. Cost-effectiveness will be assessed by calculating the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio, defined here as the costs for the intervention divided by the difference in prevalence of healthcare associated infections between the intervention and control group.
This study is the first RCT to investigate the effects of a hand hygiene intervention programme on the number of healthcare associated infections, and the first to investigate the cost-effectiveness of such an intervention. In addition, if the ACCOMPLISH package proves successful in improving hand hygiene compliance and lowering the prevalence of healthcare associated infections, the package could be disseminated at (inter)national level.
Limited data describe the sustained impact of hand hygiene programs (HHPs) implemented in teaching hospitals, where the burden of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) is high. We use a quasi-experimental, before and after, study design with prospective hospital-wide surveillance of HAIs to assess the cost effectiveness of HHPs.
Methods and Findings
A 4-year hospital-wide HHP, with particular emphasis on using an alcohol-based hand rub, was implemented in April 2004 at a 2,200-bed teaching hospital in Taiwan. Compliance was measured by direct observation and the use of hand rub products. Poisson regression analyses were employed to evaluate the densities and trends of HAIs during the preintervention (January 1999 to March 2004) and intervention (April 2004 to December 2007) periods. The economic impact was estimated based on a case-control study in Taiwan. We observed 8,420 opportunities for hand hygiene during the study period. Compliance improved from 43.3% in April 2004 to 95.6% in 2007 (p<.001), and was closely correlated with increased consumption of the alcohol-based hand rub (r = 0.9399). The disease severity score (Charlson comorbidity index) increased (p = .002) during the intervention period. Nevertheless, we observed an 8.9% decrease in HAIs and a decline in the occurrence of bloodstream, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, extensively drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, and intensive care unit infections. The intervention had no discernable impact on HAI rates in the hematology/oncology wards. The net benefit of the HHP was US$5,289,364, and the benefit-cost ratio was 23.7 with a 3% discount rate.
Implementation of a HHP reduces preventable HAIs and is cost effective.
Background. Hand hygiene is a cost-effective method in preventing infection transmission. Hand hygiene practices have been found to be faulty in most healthcare settings. We conducted a study to evaluate the awareness, and compliance of hand hygiene among undergraduate medical students during their clinical phase in Qassim College of Medicine, Saudi Arabia. Methods. A questionnaire based on World Health Organization's concept of “Five Moments for Hand Hygiene” was used to evaluate the awareness of the indications for hand hygiene and compliance was observed during Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) sessions. Sixty students including thirty-six males (60%) and twenty-four females (40%) participated voluntarily in the study. Results. The average awareness regarding the positive indications of hand hygiene was 56%. Rest of the 44% of students were either not sure or unaware of the indications of hygiene. Only 29% of students were able to identify all the five indications for hand hygiene in the questionnaire. Compliance as assessed during OSCE sessions was only 17% with no significant difference between the genders. Conclusion. It was concluded that serious efforts are needed to improve the hand hygiene practices among medical students.
Hand hygiene prevents cross-infection in hospitals, but health-care workers' adherence to guidelines is poor. Easy, timely access to both hand hygiene and skin protection is necessary for satisfactory hand hygiene behavior. Alcohol- based hand rubs may be better than traditional handwashing as they require less time, act faster, are less irritating, and contribute to sustained improvement in compliance associated with decreased infection rates. This article reviews barriers to appropriate hand hygiene and risk factors for noncompliance and proposes strategies for promoting hand hygiene.
Hand hygiene is generally considered to be the most important measure that can be applied to prevent the spread of healthcare-associated infection (HAI). Continuous emphasis on this intervention has lead to the widespread opinion that HAI rates can be greatly reduced by increased hand hygiene compliance alone. However, this assumes that the effectiveness of hand hygiene is not constrained by other factors and that improved compliance in excess of a given level, in itself, will result in a commensurate reduction in the incidence of HAI. However, several researchers have found the law of diminishing returns to apply to hand hygiene, with the greatest benefits occurring in the first 20% or so of compliance, and others have demonstrated that poor cohorting of nursing staff profoundly influences the effectiveness of hand hygiene measures. Collectively, these findings raise intriguing questions about the extent to which increasing compliance alone can further reduce rates of HAI.
In order to investigate these issues further, we constructed a deterministic Ross-Macdonald model and applied it to a hypothetical general medical ward. In this model the transmission of staphylococcal infection was assumed to occur after contact with the transiently colonized hands of HCWs, who, in turn, acquire contamination only by touching colonized patients. The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of imperfect hand cleansing on the transmission of staphylococcal infection and to identify, whether there is a limit, above which further hand hygiene compliance is unlikely to be of benefit.
The model demonstrated that if transmission is solely via the hands of HCWs, it should, under most circumstances, be possible to prevent outbreaks of staphylococcal infection from occurring at a hand cleansing frequencies < 50%, even with imperfect hand hygiene. The analysis also indicated that the relationship between hand cleansing efficacy and frequency is not linear – as efficacy decreases, so the hand cleansing frequency required to ensure R0 < 1 increases disproportionately.
Although our study confirmed hand hygiene to be an effective control measure, it demonstrated that the law of diminishing returns applies, with the greatest benefit derived from the first 20% or so of compliance. Indeed, our analysis suggests that there is little benefit to be accrued from very high levels of hand cleansing and that in most situations compliance > 40% should be enough to prevent outbreaks of staphylococcal infection occurring, if transmission is solely via the hands of HCWs. Furthermore we identified a non-linear relationship between hand cleansing efficacy and frequency, suggesting that it is important to maximise the efficacy of the hand cleansing process.
With the changing healthcare delivery, patients receive care at various settings including acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient primary care and specialty clinics, as well as at home, exposing them to pathogens in various settings.
Various healthcare settings face unique challenges requiring individualized infection control programs.
Infection control programs in skilled nursing facilities should address: surveillance for infections and antimicrobial resistance, outbreak investigation and control plan for epidemics, isolation precautions, hand hygiene, staff education, and employee and resident health programs.
Infection control programs in ambulatory clinics should address: Triage and standard – transmission based precautions, cleaning, disinfection and sterilization principles, surveillance in surgical clinics, safe injection practices, and bioterrorism and disaster planning for ambulatory clinics.
This study was conducted to evaluate perceptions of healthcare workers (HCW) and parents regarding hand-hygiene and effectiveness of measures for increasing hand-hygiene adherence, in a children's hospital in Italy.
A cross-sectional study was performed from 5 to 13 July 2010, using two self-administered anonymous questionnaires (one for HCWs and one for parents/caregivers). The questionnaires included information regarding individual perceptions associated with hand hygiene.
We collected 139 questionnaires from HCWs and 236 questionnaires from parents. Alcohol-based handrub was reported to be available at the point of care by 95.0% of the HCWs and in the child's room by 97.0% of the parents. For both HCWs and parents, availability of alcohol-based handrub was perceived as the most useful action for improving adherence to hand hygiene (scores ≥ 6 on a 7-point Likert-type scale: 84.8% [CI95%78.0-90.1] for HCWs and 87.9% [CI95% 83.3-91.7] for parents). Parents' reminding HCWs to perform hand hygiene was perceived as the least useful action (scores ≥ 6: 48.9% [CI95% 40.5-57.3] for HCWs and 55.7% [CI95% 49.2-62.1] for parents). Factors that affected HCWs' perceptions of the effectiveness of actions for improving adherence to hand hygiene included years of practice, type of ward and previous formal training on hand hygiene. For parents, factors affecting perceptions included previous information on hand hygiene and previous hospitalizations for their child.
Investigating HCWs' and parents' perceptions of measures for improving adherence can provide useful information for implementing actions for hand-hygiene promotion in children's hospitals. In this study, HCWs' and parents' perceptions were similar; alcohol-based hand-rub availability was perceived as the most useful tool, confirming its crucial role in multimodal interventions. Poor perception of inviting parents to remind HCWs to perform hand-hygiene has been previously observed, and deserves further investigation. Information and education activities were associated with more positive perceptions regarding various improvement measures. Though the relationship between perceptions and behaviours remains to be fully determined, HCWs should participate in formal training and families should be properly informed, not only to increase knowledge but also to improve perceptions on effectiveness of actions to be implemented.
Good hand hygiene has for many years been considered to be the most important measure that can be applied to prevent the spread of healthcare-associated infection (HAI). Continuous emphasis on this intervention has lead to the widespread opinion that HAI rates can be greatly reduced by increased hand hygiene compliance alone. However, this assumes that the effectiveness of hand hygiene is not constrained by other factors and that improved compliance in excess of a given level, in itself, will result in a commensurate reduction in the incidence of HAI. However, there is evidence that the law of diminishing returns applies to hand hygiene, with the greatest benefits occurring in the first 20% or so of compliance. While this raises intriguing questions about the extent to which increasing compliance alone can further reduce rates of HAI, analysis of this subject has been hampered by a lack of quantifiable data relating to the risk of transmission between patients on wards.
In order to gain a greater understanding of the transmission of infection between patients via the hands of healthcare workers (HCWs), we constructed a stochastic Monte Carlo model to simulate the spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) between patients. We used the model to calculate the risk of transmission occurring, firstly between two patients in adjacent beds, and then between patients in a four-bedded bay. The aim of the study was to quantify the probability of transmission under a variety of conditions and thus to gain an understanding of the contribution made by the various factors which influence transmission.
The study revealed that on a four-bedded bay, the average probability of transmitting an infection by the handborne route is generally low (i.e. in the region 0.002 – 0.013 depending on the hand hygiene behaviour of HCWs and other factors). However, because transmission is strongly influenced by stochastic events, it is the frequency with which 'high-risk events' occur, rather than average probability, that governs whether or not transmission will take place. The study revealed that increased hand hygiene compliance has a dramatic impact on the frequency with which 'high-risk events' occur. As compliance increases, so the rate at which 'high-risk events' occur, rapidly decreases, until a point is reached, beyond which, further hand hygiene is unlikely to yield any greater benefit.
The findings of the study confirm those of other researchers and suggest that the greatest benefits derived from hand hygiene occur as a result of the first tranche of compliance, with higher levels (>50%) of hand hygiene events yielding only marginal benefits. This suggests that in most situations relatively little benefit is accrued from seeking to achieve very high levels of hand hygiene compliance.
Hand hygiene is a basic measure to prevent infections. The purpose of this study was to obtain suggestions for the improvement of hand hygiene by evaluating the education, knowledge, and attitudes of care staff at facilities for the elderly in regard to hand washing and glove use, as well as infection control policies by those facilities.
Among a total of 147 special nursing homes and health service facilities for the elderly in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan, questionnaires were sent from October to November 2007 to 56 facilities which had agreed to participate in this survey. Two types of questionnaire, one for the facility manager and the other for care staff, were sent to each facility.
The questionnaire was responded to by 42 managers (response rate 28.6%) and 1,323 staff members (response rate 26.3%). The rate of compliance with hand hygiene among them was 34.0%. Personal factors promoting hand hygiene were education and attitudes, while facility-related factor was the implementation of hand-washing evaluation.
Since the hand hygiene compliance rate is low among care staff at facilities for the elderly, it is necessary to take measures to improve hand hygiene. Educational programs for hand hygiene should be developed in view of the conditions of individual facilities.
Hand washing; Glove; Hand hygiene; Facilities for the elderly; Care staff
We assessed the effect of medical staff role models and the number of health-care worker sinks on hand-hygiene compliance before and after construction of a new hospital designed for increased access to handwashing sinks. We observed health-care worker hand hygiene in four nursing units that provided similar patient care in both the old and new hospitals: medical and surgical intensive care, hematology/oncology, and solid organ transplant units. Of 721 hand-hygiene opportunities, 304 (42%) were observed in the old hospital and 417 (58%) in the new hospital. Hand-hygiene compliance was significantly better in the old hospital (161/304; 53%) compared to the new hospital (97/417; 23.3%) (p<0.001). Health-care workers in a room with a senior (e.g., higher ranking) medical staff person or peer who did not wash hands were significantly less likely to wash their own hands (odds ratio 0.2; confidence interval 0.1 to 0.5); p<0.001). Our results suggest that health-care worker hand-hygiene compliance is influenced significantly by the behavior of other health-care workers. An increased number of hand-washing sinks, as a sole measure, did not increase hand-hygiene compliance.
Handwashing; hand hygiene; sink access; new construction; role model; infection control; health-care worker behavior; research
To determine the rates of device-associated healthcare-associated infections (DA-HAI), microbiological profile, bacterial resistance, length of stay (LOS), excess mortality and hand hygiene compliance in one intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital member of the International Infection Control Consortium (INICC) in Beirut, Lebanon.
Materials and Methods:
An open label, prospective cohort, active DA-HAI surveillance study was conducted on adults admitted to a tertiary-care ICU in Lebanon from November 2007 to March 2010. The protocol and methodology implemented were developed by INICC. Data collection was performed in the participating ICUs. Data uploading and analyses were conducted at INICC headquarters on proprietary software. DA-HAI rates were recorded by applying the definitions of the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We analyzed the DA-HAI, mechanical ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLA-BSI), and catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) rates, microorganism profile, excess LOS, excess mortality, and hand hygiene compliance.
A total of 666 patients hospitalized for 5,506 days acquired 65 DA-HAIs, an overall rate of 9.8% [(95% confidence interval (CI) 7.6–12.3], and 11.8 (95% CI 9.1–15.0) DA-HAIs per 1000 ICU-days. The CLA-BSI rate was 5.2 (95% CI 2.8–8.7) per 1000 catheter-days; the VAP rate was 8.1 (95% CI 5.5–11.7) per 1000 ventilator-days; and the CAUTI rate was 4.1 (95% CI 2.6–6.2) per 1000 catheter-days. LOS of patients was 7.3 days for those without DA-HAI, 13.8 days for those with CLA-BSI, 18.8 days for those with VAP. Excess mortality was 40.9% [relative risk (RR) 3.14; P 0.004] for CLA-BSI. Mortality of VAP and CAUTI was not significantly different from patients without DA-HAI. Escherichia coli was the most common isolated microorganism. Overall hand hygiene compliance was 84.9% (95% CI 82.3–87.3).
DA-HAI rates, bacterial resistance, LOS and mortality were moderately high, below INICC overall data and above CDC-NHSN data. Infection control programs including surveillance and antibiotic policies are essential and continue to be a priority in Lebanon.
Catheter associated urinary tract infection; Central line associated bloodstream infection; Ventilator associated pneumonia; Intensive care unit; Lebanon; International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium
Hand hygiene is one of the major players in preventing healthcare associated infections. However, healthcare workers compliance with hand hygiene continues to be a challenge. This article will address strategies to help improving hand hygiene compliance.
hand hygiene; healthcare associated infections; multidisciplinary program; system change; accountability; education; feedback
Hand hygiene (HH) is the most important measure to prevent hospital-acquired infections but the compliance is still low.
To assess the compliance, identify factors influencing compliance and to study the knowledge, attitude and perceptions associated with HH among health care workers (HCW).
Settings and Design:
Cross-sectional study conducted in 42 bedded Medical (Pulmonary, Medicine and Stroke) intensive care units (ICU) of a tertiary care hospital.
Materials and Methods:
HCWs (doctors and nurses) were observed during routine patient care by observers posted in each ICU and their HH compliance was noted. Thereafter, questionnaire regarding knowledge, perception and attitudes toward HH was filled by each HCW.
Percentages and χ2 test.
The overall compliance was 43.2% (394/911 opportunities). It was 68.9% (31/45) in the intensivists, 56.3% (18/32) in attending physicians, 40.0% (28/70) in the postgraduate residents and 41.3% (301/728) in the nurses. Compliance was inversely related to activity index. Compliance for high, medium and low risk of cross-transmission was 38.8% (67/170), 43.8% (175/401) and 44.7% (152/340), respectively.
Compliance of the study group is affected by the activity index (number of opportunities they come across per hour) and professional status. The HCWs listed less knowledge, lack of motivation, increased workload as some of the factors influencing HH.
Compliance; hand hygiene; health care workers; hospital acquired infections; intensive care unit