Are we over-complicating effective hand hygiene technique?

The WHO method for hand hygiene is very well embedded as the ‘gold standard’ for hand hygiene technique. But is it feasible to perform every time in the busy clinical environment? A new study in Clinical Infectious Diseases seems to suggest that a shorter, simpler hand hygiene method be just as effective and more feasible in the real world.

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Do we need new models of hand hygiene for anaesthetists?

anaesthetists

In honour of #safesurgicalhands day, I thought I would highlight a shocking fairly recent study of hand hygiene compliance among anaesthetists. The study identified a huge number of hand hygiene opportunities during the delivery of anaesthesia (149 per hour on average) – in fact, it would have consumed more than an hour of each anaesthetists time! Importantly, the observation was done via video camera, so is probably a better reflection of actual compliance. It is little surprise then that the hand hygiene compliance rate was so low (a dire 2.9%). So, before berating our anaesthetic colleagues, we may need to think of some new models of defining critical control points related to hand hygiene for this specialist group. And then berate them (with love and support) for failing to meet them!

Image credit: youtube.