Inconsistencies abound in hand hygiene compliance reporting: Survey

Just 13 percent of nurses and infection preventionists in U.S. hospitals are "extremely satisfied" by the reliability of their facility's hand hygiene compliance data, according to a survey from DebMed.

More than 400 infection preventionists, nurses and other healthcare leaders from hospitals in the U.S. responded to the survey. Sixty-six percent of them said their hospital reports its hand hygiene compliance rate at 81 percent or greater, but just 59 percent believe the true compliance rate is less than 70 percent.

This means there are likely reporting discrepancies, which could be caused by manual hand hygiene tracking methods. The majority of respondents (62 percent) reported manual direct observation by staff was the primary method used to measure and report compliance, while another 34 percent use "secret shoppers." However, 78 percent believe electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring would be more accurate than direct observation.

"The numbers confirm what we hear firsthand from infection preventionists," said Heather McLarney, vice president of marketing for DebMed. "They and other hospital staff want to implement the best hand hygiene practices for improved patient safety and health, but they face the reality of a host of other IT priorities competing for funding and focus like Meaningful Use, ICD-10 and EHR implementations."

More articles on hand hygiene:

TeleTracking recognizes Global Handwashing Day
UPMC Presbyterian improves hand hygiene compliance to nearly 100%
Most patients don't wash hands after using bathroom

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