Determinants of hand hygiene noncompliance in intensive care units.

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Determinants of hand hygiene noncompliance in intensive care units.

Am J Infect Control. 2013 Feb;41(2):131-5

Authors: Alsubaie S, Maither Ab, Alalmaei W, Al-Shammari AD, Tashkandi M, Somily AM, Alaska A, BinSaeed AA

BACKGROUND: Hand hygiene (HH) is single most effective preventive measure for health care-associated infection, but compliance rates remain low. This study estimated HH compliance among health care workers (HCWs) and examined factors associated with noncompliance.
METHODS: An observational study design was carried out in 5 intensive care units (ICUs) at the University Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Among 242 HCWs, a total of 3,940 HH opportunities were observed by 6 trained medical interns and students. The World Health Organization's "Five Moments for Hand Hygiene" procedure was used as a basis for the observations.
RESULTS: The overall observed noncompliance rate was 58%. The factors associated with noncompliance were HCW job title (physicians, odds ratio [OR], 2.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.8-4.2; allied health professionals, OR, 2.9, 95% CI, 1.9-4.6); working the a.m. shift (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.3-1.8), working in a pediatric ICU (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.5-2.2), and performance of HH before patient contact (OR, 4.5; 95% CI, 2.6-7.8).
CONCLUSIONS: Overall HH noncompliance was high in ICUs of this hospital. The demanding ICU work setting was an important factor associated with noncompliance. HH compliance was highest among therapists and technicians because of fewer patient interactions and thus fewer HH noncompliance opportunities per person. Further studies on the relationship between work environment demands and HH compliance rates are needed.

PMID: 22863122 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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