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Hand hygiene compliance monitoring in anaesthetics: Feasibility and validity

Jeanes, A., Dick, J., Coen, P. , Drey, N. ORCID: 0000-0003-0752-9049 & Gould, D. J. (2018). Hand hygiene compliance monitoring in anaesthetics: Feasibility and validity. Journal of Infection Prevention, 19(3), pp. 116-122. doi: 10.1177/1757177418755306


Background: Hand hygiene compliance scores in the anaesthetic department of an acute NHS hospital were persistently low.

Aims: To determine the feasibility and validity of regular accurate measurement of HHC in anaesthetics and understand the context of care delivery, barriers and opportunities to improve compliance.

Methods: The hand hygiene compliance of one anaesthetist was observed and noted by a senior infection control practitioner (ICP). This was compared to the World Health Organization five moments of hand hygiene and the organisation hand hygiene tool.

Findings: In one sequence of 55 min, there were approximately 58 hand hygiene opportunities. The hand hygiene compliance rate was 16%. The frequency and speed of actions in certain periods of care delivery made compliance measurement difficult and potentially unreliable. During several activities, taking time to apply alcohol gel or wash hands would have put the patients at significant risk.

Discussion: We concluded that hand hygiene compliance monitoring by direct observation was invalid and unreliable in this specialty. It is important that hand hygiene compliance is optimal in anaesthetics particularly before patient contact. Interventions which reduce environmental and patient contamination, such as cleaning the patient and environment, could ensure anaesthetists encounter fewer micro-organisms in this specialty.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Jeanes, A, Dick, J, Coen, P, Drey, N and Gould, DJ (2018). Hand hygiene compliance monitoring in anaesthetics: Feasibility and validity.. Journal of Infection Prevention, 19(3), pp. 116-122. © The Author(s) 2018
Publisher Keywords: Audit; hand hygiene; quality assurance
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
SWORD Depositor:
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