Hand hygiene compliance: exploring variations in practice between hospitals: This observational study examined differences in hand hygiene practice between four acute hospitals

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Creedon, S.A. et al (2008) Hand hygiene compliance: exploring variations in practice between hospitals. Nursing Times; 104: 49, 32-35.


The issue of ‘centre’ or ‘hospital’ as an independent variable has not been studied extensively in healthcare workers' hand-hygiene practices.


To investigate healthcare workers' compliance with hand-hygiene guidelines in four acute-care hospitals in Ireland and to examine factors that contributed to non-compliance.


Data collectors observed healthcare workers in four hospitals.


Data (n=1,737 observations) was drawn from a random sample of nurses, doctors, physiotherapists and HCAs (n=280 staff). Findings revealed that the individual hospital has a significant impact. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed healthcare workers in centre 4 had a significantly higher likelihood of non-compliance than those in all other centres (p=0.003), irrespective of gender, discipline or area of work.


The findings make an important contribution to the study of healthcare workers' hand-hygiene behaviour and control of healthcare-associated infections. A possible explanation of the results may be related to variations in organisational support and hospital culture.

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