Hand hygiene survey: Patient reminders could improve worker compliance

By: September 22nd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Sixty percent of healthcare workers who responded to a survey on employee hand hygiene said that patient reminders could improve hand hygiene compliance. However, nearly one-third of those same respondents also said they would not appreciate patient involvement at all.

The findings of the 10-minute survey represented the opinion of 277 randomly selected doctors and nurses, and were presented at the 50th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, which is currently underway in Boston.

According to an article on Pediatric SuperSite, respondents who said they didn’t want patient reminders felt it would negatively affect healthcare worker-patient relationships, and that it would create the potential for failure to comply with hand washing procedures leading to legal action.

The survey also found that 43% of respondents would be “humiliated” if they had to admit to forgetting hand hygiene protocols, and 16% felt that if patients got involved, hand hygiene would shift from caregiver accountability to the patients’ responsibility.

To read the full story from Pediatric SuperSite, click here.


I believe the healthcare worker is “humiliated” whenever anyone indicates that they have failed to follow hand hygiene practices, that’s why there’s so little peer to peer intervention and hand hygiene observations are horribly skewed

I do not believe that having the patient police the actions of the care giver is in the best interest of either party. There is to much mental confusion and process missunderstanding amoung many patients to encourage that type of surveillance.

By How Kue Bien on September 22nd, 2010 at 8:31 pm

It’s a good idea. Agreed that patients’ involvement will help to improve the hand hygiene compliance.

Patient involvement is constant process.Peer review or infection control observation is limited to few samples.
If we admite that hand hygiene is the single most method of infection prevention-then every body need to follow 100% compliances

Our institution is in the midst of a Hand Hygiene promotion which involves increase availablity of hand hygien and educating to the WHO 5 moments. This question came through our question box. Can you help me with an answer?

“What is the OSHA threshold of absorbed alcohol, at what limits can neuro changes be expected?”

Thank you,


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