Study validates formula for estimating hand hygiene opportunities per patient day

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A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control has validated the World Health Organization's "Five Moments for Hand Hygiene" methodology or the HOW2 Benchmark Study, which includes a formula to estimate the number of hand hygiene opportunities per patient day.


The validation study used 24-hour video surveillance recordings of the hospital stays of 26 patients to measure the actual number of hand hygiene opportunities per patient day in a large teaching hospital.

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Researchers collected 1,510.8 hours of data, resulting in 4,522 hand hygiene opportunities. When the validation study was compared with the HOW2 Benchmark Study, it was found that the mean and median hand hygiene opportunities per 24-hour period did not differ significantly.

Thus, the study validates the HOW2 Benchmark Study and confirms expected numbers of hand hygiene can be estimated from the unit's patient census and patient-to-nurse ratio. The data can be used as denominators in calculations of hand hygiene compliance rates from electronic monitoring using the "Five Moments for Hand Hygiene" methodology, noted the study authors.

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