Hand Hygiene Breakthrough Collaborative raises compliance to 85% among physicians, 90% among nurses

A study, published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, examined the impact of an 18-month Hand Hygiene Breakthrough Collaborative on hand hygiene compliance.

Researchers performed a multicenter analysis of hand hygiene compliance at five hospitals in 14 locations in Switzerland. They performed the analysis through direct observation by trained observers.

Researchers studied 59,272 opportunities for hand hygiene during the study period. They examined the impact of an 18-month Hand Hygiene Breakthrough Collaborative, which was conducted to implement the World Health Organization's multimodal promotional strategy. The strategy includes improved access to alcohol-based hand rub, education, performance measurement and feedback, reminders and communication, leadership engagement as well as a focus on safety culture.

The study shows overall hand hygiene compliance improved from 61.9 percent to 88.3 percent over the 18 months of intervention implementation; and the compliance was sustained at 88.9 percent for one year after the intervention.

During the 18 months, hand hygiene compliance among:

● Physicians increased from 62 percent to 85 percent
● Nursing staff improved from 64 percent to 90 percent
● Physiotherapists increased from 50 percent to 90 percent
● X-ray technicians improved from 45 percent to 80 percent

"A rigorously conducted multicenter project combining the Breakthrough Collaborative method for its structure and the WHO multimodal strategy for content and measurement was associated with significant and substantial improvement in compliance across all professions, all hand hygiene indications and all participating hospitals," study authors concluded.

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