Hand Hygiene Compliance Rates By Healthcare Workers Essay

Hand Hygiene Compliance Rates By Healthcare Workers Essay

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This literature review will analyze and critically explore four studies that have been conducted on hand hygiene compliance rates by Healthcare workers (HCWs). Firstly, it will look at compliance rates for HCWs in the intensive care units (ICU) and then explore the different factors that contribute to low hand hygiene compliance. Hospital Acquired infections (HAI) or Nosocomial Infections appear worldwide, affecting both developed and poor countries. HAIs represent a major source of morbidity and mortality, especially for patients in the ICU (Hugonnet, Perneger, & Pittet, 2002). Hand hygiene can be defined as any method that destroys or removes microorganisms on hands (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009). According to the World Health Organization (2002), a HAI can be defined as an infection occurring in a patient in a hospital or other health care facility in whom the infection was not present or incubating at the time of admission. The hands of HCWs transmit majority of the endemic infections. As reported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2009) hand washing remains the single most important prevention strategy that reduces the risk of HCWs transmitting micro-organisms from one patient to another. Even though hand hygiene practise can be both cost effective and effective in reducing the prevalence of HAI, four studies have investigated poor compliance rates in ICUs when it comes to hand hygiene (De Wandel, Maes, Labeau, Vereecken, & Blot, 2010; Hugonnet, Perneger, & Pittet, 2002; Mathai, George, & Abraham, 2011; Sharma, Puri, Sharma, & Whig, 2011).

Compliance rates:

All studies identified that hand hygiene compliance was relatively low amongst all HCWs. Interestingly, two studies of the four compared...


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...o the impact of hand hygiene compliance (Hugonnet et al., 2002; Mathai et al., 2011; Sharma et al., 2011). Mathai et al. (2011) identified the most frequent reason for lack of compliance was nurses were too busy. In support of Mathai et al. (2011), Sharma et al. (2011) found that when the activity index was higher and workload was heavy, there was an increase in demand for hand hygiene and therefore more hand hygiene opportunities; hence, lower compliance rates resulted. Moreover, De Wandel et al. (2010) stated that increased work pressure in the ICU did not seem to have a direct influence on hand hygiene behavior on their sample. Differences in these findings, suggest further investigation on the impact of workload in ICUs and focus on one specific sample group, as these three studies, one had a sample of nurses only, whilst the other two had a combination of HCWs.

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