Hand hygiene compliance lags in hospital reception areas, study finds

Improving hand hygiene compliance is an ongoing battle hospitals face, and there is major room for improvement in hospital reception areas, which may be overlooked, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Researchers performed a 33-week-long study to evaluate hand hygiene compliance rates of patients, visitors and employees at two hospital entrances and reception areas. The researchers used direct observation via remote review of video surveillance and electronic observers.

The researchers found low hand hygiene compliance rates of 2.2 percent and 1.7 percent in the two reception areas using direct observation. Using the electronic observer, they measured compliance rates of 17 percent and 7.1 percent in the reception areas.

Overall, the human observer captured 1 percent of the hand hygiene events detected by the electronic observer.

The study authors recognize that hand hygiene is most crucial when temporally related to patient care, but call the low compliance rates in reception areas "unacceptable."

"This information can stimulate hospital administrators and infection preventionists to establish strategies to promote improved safety in the hospital by encouraging patients, visitors and healthcare workers to use alcohol gel when they enter the hospital," wrote the study authors. "This is the first action to promote and practice the WHO's slogan, Clean Care is Safer Care."

 

 

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