In Practice

A multifaceted hospital-wide intervention increases hand hygiene compliance

B Patel, H Engelbrecht, H McDonald, V Morris, W Smythe

Abstract


Background. Hand hygiene is an important and basic practice that should be used by all healthcare staff to protect both themselves and their patients against infection. Unfortunately hand hygiene compliance remains poor.

Objective. To show an improvement in hand hygiene compliance using a multifaceted approach.

Methods. This was a quasiexperimental pre-post intervention study design with a number of standardised interventions to promote hand hygiene. The World Health Organization hand hygiene multimodal (five-step) intervention approach was used. The study ran from June 2015 to August 2015 in 11 selected wards of a 975-bed tertiary and quaternary care public hospital (Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa). The outcome was to assess improvement in hand hygiene compliance monthly over the 3 months, compared with non-intervention wards and compared with the wards’ own performance measured in 2014. The study included both descriptive and analytical components.

Results. Post intervention, hand hygiene compliance showed a statistically significant improvement for before patient contact from 34% in 2014 to 76% in 2015 (p<0.05) and for after patient contact from 47% in 2014 to 82% in 2015 (p<0.05).

Conclusion. The intervention improved hand hygiene compliance and can easily be replicated in other wards, resulting in sustaining a culture of hand hygiene improvement and behavioural change throughout the hospital.


Authors' affiliations

B Patel, Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

H Engelbrecht, Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

H McDonald, Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

V Morris, Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

W Smythe, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Clinical Research Centre, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Keywords

Hospital; Intervention; Hand washing; Compliance

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2016;106(4):335-341. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2016.v106i4.10671

Article History

Date submitted: 2016-02-12
Date published: 2016-03-07

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