Mum’s the word for patients and hand washing
Physician, wash thy hands. That’s something patients are still reluctant to express, according to a study published in the May issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.
“Can We Expect Patients to Question Health Care Workers’ Hand Hygiene Compliance?” studied patients in an Australian hospital who were specifically encouraged to ask healthcare workers if they had washed their hands.
Patients spoke up less than 50% of the time before treatment, according to the journal’s news release. Nurses were asked about washing hands 67% of the time while doctors were queried only 43% of the time.
“The French proverb that states ‘a doctor is often more to be feared than the disease’ is relevant, because doctors consistently have the lowest [hand hygiene] compliance of all [healthcare workers],” the study’s authors write. “However, patients fear questioning their doctors.”