Hygiene Handle Trials Show Drastic Improvements in Hand-Washing Compliance

Pure Hold's Hygiene Handle prototypes were trialed at two major acute NHS hospitals in the Hampshire, U.K., in August and September 2011 and found to prompt a significant increase in hand hygiene compliance, according to a release.

The Hygiene Handle is designed to address hand hygiene compliance issues by building a gel dispenser into a door handle. This way, everyone who enters an area (e.g. a hospital ward) uses the gel to clean their hands, unless they make a conscious decision to do so. "Rather than 'encouraging' people to comply and then hoping they will take appropriate action, this approach reverses the decision so that everyone complies unless they have a good reason not to," the release states.

At each NHS site, the data was gathered over a three-week period in three separate ward-entry locations in the hospital. In the first week, benchmark data was gathered through observation of current hand hygiene compliance. In the second week, three Hygiene Handles were installed and the effect on hand hygiene compliance was observed over a two-week period.

Prior to installation, hand hygiene compliance varied widely between the different locations, ranging from 2 percent to 38.5 percent, with an average of 22.7 percent across the two hospitals. After the installation of Hygiene Handle, compliance increased significantly, ranging from 48.3 percent to 78.1 percent, with an overall average of 68.1 percent across the two hospitals.

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