Influence of role models and hospital design on hand hygiene of health care workers

Mary G. Lankford, Teresa R. Zembower, William E. Trick, Donna M. Hacek, Gary A. Noskin, Lance R. Peterson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

221 Scopus citations

Abstract

We assessed the effect of medical staff role models and the number of health-care worker sinks on hand-hygiene compliance before and after construction of a new hospital designed for increased access to handwashing sinks. We observed health-care worker hand hygiene in four nursing units that provided similar patient care in both the old and new hospitals: medical and surgical intensive care, hematology/oncology, and solid organ transplant units. Of 721 hand-hygiene opportunities, 304 (42%) were observed in the old hospital and 417 (58%) in the new hospital. Hand-hygiene compliance was significantly better in the old hospital (161/304; 53%) compared to the new hospital (97/417; 23.3%) (p<0.001). Health-care workers in a room with a senior (e.g., higher ranking) medical staff person or peer who did not wash hands were significantly less likely to wash their own hands (odds ratio 0.2; confidence interval 0.1 to 0.5); p<0.001). Our results suggest that health-care worker hand-hygiene compliance is influenced significantly by the behavior of other health-care workers. An increased number of hand-washing sinks, as a sole measure, did not increase hand-hygiene compliance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-223
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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