Hand Hygiene Compliance Program: Implications and Ways of Improvement Hand Hygiene Compliance Program: Implications and Ways of Improvement For a long time, hand hygiene among health care workers is pivotal in preventing transmission of infectious agents but despite a Center for Disease Control joint commission requirement on hand hygiene guidelines implemented in hospitals, compliance among health care workers remains low. According to studies, that hospitals may best improve compliance by assessing the barriers to, measuring the rates of compliance, educating staff on the importance of hand hygiene, making sanitizing products more available for staff use, and holding staff accountable.
The CDC’s latest guideline includes two major new recommendations: 1. Health care workers should use alcohol-based hand sanitizers for routine hand disinfection when hands are visibly soiled, and 2. Health care facilities should establish ongoing monitoring programs for hand hygiene compliance (Haas and Larson, 2008). Medline’s Hand Hygiene Compliance Program which addresses the primary defense against healthcare-acquired conditions, includes an intensive education module developed by an expert panel of professionals which provides health care workers with tools, education and awareness of proper hand hygiene to increase compliance rates and decrease spread of infection.
Among the free benefits of this program is an online educational program with modules and interactive competencies, an access to 200+ free CE Credits Experience additional online education from their university ( including access to over two hundred courses that include CE credits), and a Facility Awareness and Tools Placards to promote proper hand hygiene to staff members, patients and visitors.
Direct observation cannot be considered a gold standard for assessing hand hygiene, because there was no relationship between observed adherence and number of dispensing episodes or the used product volume (Medline, 2012). Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers has increased the convenience of hand hygiene and made it less time-consuming since sinks become less needed and dispensers are small and accessible at every stage of patient care (some dispensers can be worn or carried in a pocket). An observational study in two ICUs by Earl, etc.
established that availability of alcohol-based hand sanitizers "resulted in a sustained increase in hand antisepsis rates among health care workers. " Boyce and colleagues compared the effects of either using an alcohol-based sanitizer or washing hands with the hospitals unmedicated soap and found out that the former was less damaging to nurses skin (Earl et al. , 2001). In an observational study in Geneva, Switzerland, Pittet and colleagues measured the rates of hand hygiene compliance before and during a hand hygiene improvement program implementation. The program has increased compliance rates from 48% to 66% in three years and significantly decreased the number of hospital-acquired infections.
11,17. The multidisciplinary and multifaceted promotion involved the display of color posters in 250 hospital locations being collaborated by Health care workers whose ideas (i. e. hand hygiene, hospital-acquired infections, and protecting hands with creams, etc. ) were translated by an artist into cartoon-like messages. The program also prioritized the increase of availability of alcohol-based hand sanitizer bottles at each bedside and also provided pocket-sized bottles to staff. Hand hygiene convenience also increased upon enhancement of the accessibility of hand sanitizers (Pittet et al. , 1999; Pittet et al. , 2000). The most important factor in the program’s success may be due to the administrative hospital-wide prioritization, some funding, encouraging the participation of senior staff, and voicing support for the program.
Improving compliance for hand hygiene requires leadership, collaboration, accessibility of hand hygiene products, feedback on compliance and infection rates, and individual accountability. ReferencesEarl, M.L. , et al. (2001). Improved rates of compliance with hand antisepsis guidelines: a three-phase observational study. Am J Nurs, 101(3), 26-33.Haas, J.P. and Larson, E.L.
(2008). Compliance with hand hygiene guidelines: where are we in 2008? American Journal of Nursing, 108(8), 40 – 44.Medline (2012). Hand hygiene compliance program. Retrieved September 25, 2012, from http: //www. medline. com/programs/hand-hygiene-compliance-program/Pittet, D., et al. (1999). Compliance with hand washing in a teaching hospital: infection control program. Ann Intern Med, 130(2), 126-30. Pittet D, et al. (2000). Effectiveness of a hospital-wide program to improve compliance with hand hygiene: infection control program. Lancet, 356 (9238), 1307-12.