Hand hygiene education programs: Is once enough?

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Education and training programs around proper hand hygiene are often part of hospitals' approaches to improve healthcare workers' hand hygiene compliance. A recent study found these programs need to be repeated to have a lasting effect on compliance rates.

In a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control, researchers monitored hand hygiene compliance before and after a series of two hand hygiene awareness campaigns in an 18-month period.

Compliance with hand hygiene standards increased from 28.1 percent to 42.5 percent after the campaigns, but dropped to 36.4 percent after two years, meaning the programs had a short-term positive effect but not a long-term one.

"We conclude that educational programs should be repeatedly conducted to maintain high adherence to hand hygiene standards in healthcare settings," researchers concluded.

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