Study reviews patient reminders to improve health care worker hand hygiene compliance

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Intravenous literature: Longtin, Y., Farquet, N., Gayet-Ageron, A., Sax, H. and Pittet, D. (2012) Caregivers’ Perceptions of Patients as Reminders to Improve Hand Hygiene. Archives of Internal Medicine. 3rd September [epub ahead of print].

Abstract:

Hand hygiene is widely regarded as the most important measure to prevent health care–associated infections and limit the spread of antimicrobial resistance, but health care worker (HCW) compliance remains low. Successful strategies to improve compliance result from a combination of multiple components, including system change, training, and education of HCWs; observation and performance feedback; reminders in the workplace; and the institution of a safety climate. A promising, albeit less explored, avenue is to encourage patients to remind HCWs to perform hand hygiene before caring for them. This strategy has been recommended by a large number of organizations and authorities worldwide, including the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, very little is known about HCWs’ views of such programs. We surveyed a sample of HCWs to investigate the degree to which they wish to be reminded by patients to perform hand hygiene and to identify sociodemographic variables and beliefs influencing their views.

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