Even While Recording Failures, Healthcare Workers Say They are Hand Hygiene Compliant

Even while healthcare providers are recording compliance behavior that goes against self-reported expectations, they continue to report observed compliance as much higher than their actual compliance rates, according to research in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Researchers gathered data on hand hygiene at the point of decision-making by providing participants with personal digital assistants for use in three 2-hour periods. At the beginning of the study, each participant recorded on the assistant what they thought they should do for hand hygiene. After that, they recorded what they actually did.

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Only 20 percent of physicians, 28 percent of nurses and 66 percent of physiotherapists always performed hand hygiene up to their self-reported standards. However, they consistently rated their compliance higher than these rates.

Researchers confirmed the oft-drawn conclusion, that there is no correlation between reported compliance and actual compliance when it comes to hand hygiene, suggesting there is a disconnect between staff understanding of compliance definitions and strict observation of hand hygiene guidelines.

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