Impact on hand hygiene compliance following migration to a new hospital with improved resources and the sequential introduction of World Health Organization recommendations.
Am J Infect Control. 2012 Jan 26;
Authors: Abela N, Borg MA
BACKGROUND: One commonly cited reason for inadequate hand hygiene (HH) in health care facilities is lack of handwashing sinks and alcohol hand rub (AHR). METHODS: Using the World Health Organization (WHO) direct observation method, we studied HH compliance after migration from an old hospital having 1 HH station (sink and AHR) per 6 beds to a new institution with 1 per 0.85 beds. We then introduced the other WHO strategy components in a sequential manner-posters, active education, and performance feedback-and assessed the impact of the various elements over time. RESULTS: Migration from the old to the new hospital was actually accompanied by a reduction in HH from 27.3% to 14.5% (P < .01), with a 52% decline in handwashing (P = .01) after patient contact. Small group interactive teaching improved HH compliance but only reached a maximum of 33.1%. No change was seen where only posters and leaflets (without educational sessions) were adopted. Significant improvement was only obtained after a performance feedback campaign coupled with increased staff accountability, reaching an overall average of 63% (P < .001). CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that, on their own, better resources do not offer any guarantees of improved HH practices. However, once in place, audit and feedback-coupled with genuine administrative support and fostering of individual accountability-appear to be effective change tools to increase HH compliance.
PMID: 22285712 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]