Identification of low, high, and super gelers and barriers to hand hygiene among intensive care unit nurses
The purpose of this article was to provide information identified during hand hygiene (HH) surveillance periods at 5 intensive care units (ICUs) (4 hospitals) in Texas.Methods
Using room entry and room exit, overt observation periods were 8 consecutive hours for 3-5 days on 64 ICU nurses.Results
A total of 3,620 HH opportunities were recorded during 18 days of observation (144 hours). The average hand hygiene compliance (HHC) rate was 64%, with 19% of the nurses participating in HH in the 60%-69% range. Male nurses had a rate of 67%, whereas female nurses had a rate of 62%. Having a HHC rate of <29%, 6% of the nurses were identified as low gelers, whereas 14% were identified as high gelers (HHC rate 80%-89%), and 13% were classified as super gelers (HHC rate 90%-100%). Four barriers to HHC were identified: carrying something in their hands, talking on mobile phones, donning gloves or personal protective equipment, and pushing or pulling the workstation on wheels; all were statistically significant. Accounting for 18% noncompliance, barriers identified present teaching opportunities to increase compliance.Conclusions
Average HHC rates recorded during 10- to 20-minute periods with random sampling may not show the complete picture of HHC. Barriers to HHC were identified that can be used as teaching interventions.