The Hand Hygiene Roundup: 10 Recent Developments in Hand Hygiene

The following are 10 findings and articles on hand hygiene from Becker's Hospital Review and Becker's ASC Review from the past month:

1. Allowing medical students to act as covert observers of hand hygiene improves their awareness of the importance of hand hygiene, according to research published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

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2. A study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that after physicians visit patients, their stethoscopes are more contaminated than certain parts of their hands.

3. Healthcare workers report clarifications in infection prevention protocols, including contact precautions, would greatly improve their efforts to limit the spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, according to research published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

4. One in five U.S. healthcare facilities is missing alcohol-based hand sanitizer at some points of care, according to a study from the Columbia University School of Nursing in New York City and the World Health Organization, published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

5. For most Americans, $10 billion isn't pocket change. So why are hospitals and healthcare workers throwing this money down the proverbial drain? The answer has to do with the systemic failure to reduce the prevalence of healthcare-acquired infections. Indeed, as hospital systems, medical records and surgical tools turn toward the more technologically advanced, so do the efforts to combat hand hygiene noncompliance. One such technology is radio frequency identification, a compliance-tracking intervention that is slowly gaining popularity in the healthcare system, according to Becker's Hospital Review.

6.  According to a monograph from The Joint Commission, the following three questions should be answered before choosing a method of hand hygiene compliance measurement and implementing a hand hygiene surveillance method.

7. 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.

8. One of the most effective ways to reduce HAIs is proper hand hygiene practices; however, many organizations fall short when it comes to hand hygiene compliance. Becker's Hospital Review covered the story of how Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles moved its hand hygiene compliance from 70 percent to a sustained 95 percent baseline.

9. Of the reasons healthcare workers skipped hand hygiene, healthcare workers cited memory, loss of concentration, distraction by interruptions and lack of knowledge of specific hand hygiene indications. These reasons covered 70 percent of the motivations for avoiding hand hygiene according to research in the American Journal of Infection Control.

10. While many believe hot water is more effective than cool water when it comes to handwashing, the temperature of the water used is not related to how well pathogens are eliminated during the process, according to research in the Journal of Consumer Studies.

More Articles on Infection Control & Clinical Quality:

Patient Safety Tool: OpenNotes' Toolkit for Note Sharing

Certain Antibiotics Linked to Elevated Risk of Cardiac Arrhythmia, Mortality

Penicillin Allergies Linked to Longer Hospital Stays, More HAIs

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