Hand Wash

Topics: Hygiene, Health care, Health care provider Pages: 8 (1552 words) Published: December 2, 2014


Improving Hand Hygiene Compliance in Healthcare Olga Norka Ambria College of Nursing Abstract Hand washing hygiene is a single and the most important method of prevention of pathogenic microorganisms transmission. Proper hand hygiene is a fundamental condition of patient safety in health care settings. Ideally every health care worker must have an obligation to himself and the patient to maintain adherence to hand hygiene protocols. In real world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, the compliance with hand hygiene remains poor. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that health care workers education has positive effect on hand hygiene improvement and reduces health-care-associated infections. The World Health Organization (WHO) provided practical guidelines on proper hand washing techniques and steps for educational and teaching-learning strategies on hand hygiene compliance for health care professionals. The researchers from the University of Geneva Hospital in Switzerland explored the effectiveness of educational programs, conditions of compliance and incompliance, and measures to improve and promote the hand hygiene practices in health care settings.

Can you imagine what our life would be if hand washing for surgeons will be optional? Scary, right? Now days in developed countries hand hygiene is heavily promoting for people of all ages, but only few of us know the history and the beginning of hand washing. In 1846 Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis made clinical observations which lead to the practice of hand washing in medical settings. While working in the obstetrics clinic, Dr. Semmelweis paid attention on the fact that fatal childbed fever occurred more frequently in women who were assisted by medical students, compared to those who were assisted by midwives. Through examination of clinical practices, he discovered that medical students who assisted in childbirth often did so after performing autopsies on patients who had died from sepsis (of bacterial origin). After that discovery, a strict policy of hand-washing with chlorine solution was instituted and mortality rates dropped by 10-20 % in 3 months, demonstrating that transfer of disease could be significantly reduced by this simple hygienic practice (“A History of Hygiene”, n.d.). Now days hand hygiene is still considered primary and single most effective measure to reduce and prevent the spread of nosocomial pathogens. In the health care settings healthcare workers can transfer infectious microorganisms on their hands while providing care for the patient. For health care workers hand washing is crucial in preventing diseases and infections transmission. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that in the United States 90, 000 patients die annually due to nosocomial infections and 15% to 30% out of this number are attributed to noncompliance with hand washing and poor hand hygiene (Alemango, Guten, Wathman, Young, & Mackay 2010). According to the above statistic numbers, it’s obvious that the adherence with such simple task as hand hygiene is a challenge for health care workers, and incompliance with hand hygiene protocol is a significant source of health associated infections, and the global action should be taken. That’s why strategies to improve hand hygiene compliance should be multilevel, multidimensional, and global (Mathai et al., 2010). They should include health workers staff education and motivation. The education of healthcare workers is essential to improve compliance with hand washing (Mathai, George, & Abraham 2011). To improve hand hygiene standards among in health care settings, the researchers at the University of Geneva Hospitals in Switzerland...

References: Alemagno, S. A., Guten, S. M., Warthman, S., Young, E., & Mackay, D. S. (2010). Online learning to improve hand hygiene knowledge and compliance among health care workers. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 41(10), 463-471. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3928/00220124-20100610-06
Evolution of Personal Hygiene: A History of Hand-Washing, Clean Water, and Flush Toilets. (n.d.) Infectious Diseases. Retrieved July 12, 2013, from http://infectiousdiseases.about.com/od/prevention/a/history_hygiene.htm
My five moments for hand hygiene. (2013, July 12). http://www.int./gpsc/. Retrieved July 12, 2013, from http://www.int./gpsc/
Mathai, E., Allegranzi, B., Seto, W. H., Chraïti, M., Sax, H., Larson, E., & Pittet, D. (2010). Educating healthcare workers to optimal hand hygiene practices: Addressing the need. Infection, 38(5), 349-56. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s15010-010-0047-7
Mathai, A., George, S., & Abraham, J. (2011). Efficacy of a multimodal intervention strategy in improving hand hygiene compliance in a tertiary level intensive care unit. Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine, 15(1), 6-15. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/0972-5229.78215
My five moments for health hygiene. (n.d.). http://who.int/gpsc/tools/Five_moments/en/. Retrieved July 12, 2013, from http://who.int/gpsc/tools/Five_moments/en/
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