Pilot study to evaluate a hand hygiene ambassador program

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"A pilot study was conducted to assess the perceptions of visitors, patients, and staff to the presence of a hand hygiene ambassador" Birnbach et al (2020).

Abstract:

Background: A pilot study was conducted to assess the perceptions of visitors, patients, and staff to the presence of a hand hygiene ambassador (HHA). Methods: Two hundred and twenty-five entrants to various health care settings were surveyed. Only entrants who failed to clean their hands at the alcohol-based handrub (ABHR) station on entry to the lobby were offered application of ABHR by an HHA. Several questions were also asked to assess their attitudes about the presence of an HHA. Results: When asked whether they think it is a good idea to have an HHA place ABHR on an entrant’s hands, the majority of staff, visitors, and patients agreed. No one refused administration of handrub by the HHA. Discussion: HHA programs have direct and indirect benefits. Although the cost of such an initiative should be considered prior to implementation, it should be weighed against the annual spending for health care–associated infections. Conclusions: Considering that hand hygiene compliance and health care–associated infection are clearly linked, a new approach using an HHA may help reduce infection, acting as a source of hand hygiene on entry to the hospital and possibly as a reminder to perform hand hygiene elsewhere in the hospital and clinics.

Reference:

Birnbach, D.J., Thiesen, T.C., Rosen, L.F., Fitzpatrick, M. and Arheart, K.L. (2020) A new approach to infection prevention: A pilot study to evaluate a hand hygiene ambassador program in hospitals and clinics. American Journal of Infection Control. January 13th. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2019.11.007.

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