Other Measures: Hand Hygiene Compliance

What is Hand Hygiene?
Hand hygiene is a term used to cover both hand washing using soap and water, and cleaning hands with waterless or alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Why is it important to perform hand hygiene?
Performance of Hand Hygiene by health care workers using soap and water or alternatively, alcohol based hand disinfectants has been shown in numerous studies to be a major factor in the reduction of hospital acquired infections.

How do we measure our performance?

  • Hand Hygiene observations are conducted by a member of the Infection Control Team or by Epidemiology Clinicians
  • An Observation Log is used to collect data on hand hygiene before and/or after care as well as the use of personal protective equipment or isolation garb
  • Data are tabulated and reported monthly by Infection Control

How are we doing at improving hand hygiene?
The chart below depicts health care worker overall compliance with performing hand hygiene when going into and coming out of patient rooms.

Performance Measures Other Measures: Hand Hygiene Compliance

What efforts are in place to improve performance?
Hand hygiene has been the focus of a sustained and multi-pronged campaign of hospital education and both positive and negative reinforcement calculated to change the behavior of health care workers. Initial compliance (2007) in the range of 40-50% has improved and has been sustained to over 90%.