Low hand hygiene awareness & glove use may hurt compliance: 6 study insights

Healthcare personnel aren't familiar with the World Health Organization's "five moments" for hand hygiene, which may contribute to lower compliance, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Researchers studied hand hygiene compliance from July to August 2016 using a WHO hand hygiene observation form, which included 26 questions assessing healthcare personnel's hand hygiene knowledge.

Six key insights to know:

1. There were 300 hand hygiene opportunities observed in 104 patient interactions.

2. Hand hygiene was performed in 35 percent of opportunities.

3. Thirty-seven percent of opportunities occurred before touching a patient, and 63 percent occurred after touching a patient.

4. Nine percent occurred before aseptic procedures, 5 percent after body fluid exposure or risk, and 35 percent after touching patients' surroundings.

5. Out of 218 healthcare personnel who completed the survey, 29 percent were familiar with the WHO five moments, but only 21 percent could remember all five.

6. Forty-six percent of respondents said "before aseptic procedure" was the most important hand hygiene moment, while 86 percent said "after touching patient surroundings" was the least important.

Researchers concluded, "We found frequent opportunities for hand hygiene with infrequent compliance. Lack of recognition of opportunities at the bedside and frequent glove use may contribute to lower compliance."

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