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Recently, the US Food and Drug Administration requested that a “maximal use” trial be conducted to ensure the safety of frequent use of alcohol-based hand rubs (ABHRs) by healthcare workers.
To establish how frequently volunteers should be exposed to ABHR during a maximal use trial.
Retrospective review of literature and analysis of 2 recent studies that utilized hand hygiene electronic compliance monitoring (ECM) systems.
We reviewed PubMed for articles published between 1970 and December 31, 2015, containing the terms hand washing, hand hygiene, hand hygiene compliance, and alcohol-based hand rubs. Article titles, abstracts, or text were reviewed to determine whether the frequency of ABHR use by healthcare workers was reported. Two studies using hand hygiene ECM systems were reviewed to determine how frequently nurses used ABHR per shift and per hour.
Of 3,487 citations reviewed, only 10 reported how frequently individual healthcare workers used ABHR per shift or per hour. Very conservative estimates of the frequency of ABHR use were reported owing to shortcomings of the methods utilized. The greatest frequency of ABHR use was recorded by an ECM system in a medical intensive care unit. In 95% of nursing shifts, individual nurses used ABHR 141 times or less per shift, and 15 times or less per hour.
Hand hygiene ECM systems established that the frequency of exposure to ABHRs varies substantially among nurses. Our findings should be useful in designing how frequently individuals should be exposed to ABHR during a maximal use trial.
To determine whether hand hygiene adherence is influenced by peer effects and, specifically, whether the presence and proximity of other healthcare workers has a positive effect on hand hygiene adherence
An observational study using a sensor network.
A 20-bed medical intensive care unit at a large university hospital.
Hospital staff assigned to the medical intensive care unit.
We deployed a custom-built, automated, hand hygiene monitoring system that can (1) detect whether a healthcare worker has practiced hand hygiene on entering and exiting a patient’s room and (2) estimate the location of other healthcare workers with respect to each healthcare worker exiting or entering a room.
We identified a total of 47,694 in-room and out-of-room hand hygiene opportunities during the 10-day study period. When a worker was alone (no recent healthcare worker contacts), the observed adherence rate was 20.85% (95% confidence interval [CI], 19.78%–21.92%). In contrast, when other healthcare workers were present, observed adherence was 27.90% (95% CI, 27.48%–28.33%). This absolute increase was statistically significant (P < .01). We also found that adherence increased with the number of nearby healthcare workers but at a decreasing rate. These results were consistent at different times of day, for different measures of social context, and after controlling for possible confounding factors.
The presence and proximity of other healthcare workers is associated with higher hand hygiene rates. Furthermore, our results also indicate that rates increase as the social environment becomes more crowded, but with diminishing marginal returns.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(10):1277–1285
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