Study: Better Hand Hygiene Reduces S. Aureus Transmission

Improved hand hygiene compliance reduced the transmission of Staphylococcus aureus in a Dutch teaching hospital, according to a study in Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control.

An oncology ward of a Dutch teaching hospital implemented four interventions to improve hand hygiene compliance from October 2011 to December 2012:

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1. Increased number of hand alcohol dispensers.
2. Provided education on hand hygiene.
3. Replaced standard hand alcohol and soap dispensers by new automated dispensers; no feedback was given.
4. Provided personal feedback of hand hygiene compliance.

During the education intervention, hand hygiene compliance was 31.5 percent. In the same period, 10 of 19 patients with a primary case of S. aureus transmitted the infection to other patients, causing 22 secondary cases, resulting in a transmission index (the ratio of secondary to primary cases) of 1.2.

During the last intervention, hand hygiene was 52.9 percent — an increase of 67.9 percent. In this period, nine of 25 patients with a primary case of S. aureus transmitted the infection to other patients, causing 17 secondary cases, resulting in a transmission index of 0.7 — a decrease of 41.7 percent from the education intervention.

The authors concluded that hand hygiene compliance improvement through the use of automatic dispensers with personal feedback significantly reduced the transmission of S. aureus.

More Articles on Hand Hygiene:

Study: Electronic Monitoring Accurately Assesses Hand Hygiene Compliance
Study: Hand Hygiene Compliance Not Associated With Workload

Study: Electronic Hand Hygiene Monitoring Boosts Compliance Rates 92%

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