The patient’s influence on hand hygiene compliance

By: December 16th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

Here’s something to remind your staff members: If a patient asks you to wash your hands, take the hint.

Patient eduction has forced patients to become more aware, which is to the benefit of infection preventionists. Research released by the CDC and Premier healthcare alliance, in conjunction with Catholic Healthcare Partners (CHP) indicated that a video devoted to hand hygiene is more likely to provoke patients to remind healthcare workers to wash their hands.

The CDC video called “Hand Hygiene Saves Lives,” developed with help from APIC, was shown in 17 CHP facilities, and “patients were twice as likely to report reminding nurses to wash their hands, and doctors were twice as likely to report being asked by patients to wash their hands,” according to the press release.

Before every airline flight, passengers are shown a safety video so they know how to respond in an emergency,” said Victoria Nahum, executive director of the Safe Care Campaign, which helped to develop Hand Hygiene Saves Lives. “We need the same safety resources in healthcare. This video teaches patients how to minimize the risk of infection and is providing tools to take action and advocate for highest quality care.”

According to the research, after watching the video, the majority of patients:

  • Reported that the video increased their knowledge about hand hygiene
  • Reported that the video is a useful tool to educate patients about hand hygiene
  • Recommended that the video be shown to other patients

You can watch the five-minute video below, download it for free on the CDC Web site, or order the DVD from Premier.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.


By Annette Weyers on January 7th, 2010 at 9:50 am


By Mary Craddock, MD on February 2nd, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Stethoscope worn around the neck is a negative: it is thought to shed “squams” on patient. Stethescope in pocket is a negative, representing the HCP repeatedly reaching into pocket and then replacing contaminated stethescope time after time. Also, a male physician with a tie instead of a bowtie is not the ideal, published data on the cleaniness of ties is not reassuring. This video needs work.


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