Where is the sink? Poor location contributes to low hand hygiene compliance

Improving the location of sinks may increase hand hygiene compliance following contact with patients with Clostridium difficile infection, according to a study published in BMC Infectious Diseases.

Researchers conducted a cross-sectional study in a 637-bed hospital in Canada, performing direct unobtrusive observations of healthcare workers. The study authors also examined the location of sinks in relation to patients' rooms.

All total, the researchers observed 247 hand hygiene opportunities following care of a C. diff patient and recorded a hand-washing compliance rate of only 14.2 percent. The problem may be partially attributable to the fact that the median distance between the C. diff patient zone and the nearest sink was 13.1 meters and sinks were only directly visible from the patient room doorway 33.2 percent of the time.

Additionally, a multivariate analysis showed a farther distance between the patient zone and the nearest sink was inversely associated with hand hygiene compliance.

According to the study authors, strategies to improve sink location and hand hygiene compliance are "urgently needed."

 

 

More articles on hand hygiene:
English hospital releases hand hygiene rap and music video
Monitoring hand hygiene may decrease compliance in the long run without follow-up
CDC launches 'Clean Hands Count' campaign for World Hand Hygiene Day

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