Observance of hand washing procedures performed by the medical personnel before patient contact. Part I
Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion, Chair of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Medical University of Łódź, Łódź, Poland
Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion, Chair of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Medical University of Łódź, ul. Jaracza 63, 90-251, Łódź, Poland
Department of Environmental Epidemiology, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2013;26(1):113–121
Introduction: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, medical staff are obliged to decontaminate the skin of the hands before every single patient contact. Materials and Methods: The study was performed by quasi-observation among the group of 188 medical staff (nurses and physicians) working in three selected hospitals of the Łódź province. The procedure of hand washing and disinfection performed directly before the patient contact according to the CDC and WHO recommendations were observed. The results was subject to statistical analysis (p < 0.05). Results: During 1544 hours of observation 4101 activities requiring hand washing were recorded. The medical staff obeyed the hand washing procedure before the patient contact only in 5.2% of the situations. There was no activity observed before which hand hygiene was maintained in 100% of cases. Observance of hand hygiene depended signifi cantly on the type of the performed activity, the professional group, and the workload index. A decrease in percentage observance of hand hygiene according to the time of the day was found to be of
statistical signifi cance. The mean time of hand washing was 8.5 s for physicians and 6.6 s for nurses. Conclusion: The level of observance of hand washing procedures among the medical staff prior to the patient contact appears to be alarmingly below the expectations.