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E. Mensah, I.E. Murdoch, K. Binstead, C. Rotheram, W. Franks; Hand Hygiene in Routine Glaucoma Clinics . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):168.
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Purpose: Nosocomial infections are most commonly transmitted via the hands of health care workers (HCWs). Although hand hygiene is considered the leading preventative measure, evidence suggests poor compliance. At Moorfields it is hospital policy that HCWs clean their hands between patient examinations. The primary aim of this study was to determine the frequency of hand hygiene amongst HCWs working within all glaucoma clinics at Moorfields, City Road. Without revealing how the study was conducted, the secondary aim was to establish whether intervention by verbal and written presentation of study results to the glaucoma unit produced a change in hand hygiene practice. Methods: During a 1 week period, hand hygiene practice of HCWs was observed covertly and documented on a previously piloted proforma, before and 2 weeks after intervention. Results: Prior to intervention, female HCWs cleaned their hands significantly more than male HCWs (p<0.01) and nurses had significantly more hand washing episodes than other health care professionals (p<0.01). Following intervention there was a significant increase in hand hygiene practice amongst HCWs overall (p<0.01). The majority of this effect was in hand hygiene practice of female doctors (p=0.01). Hand hygiene prior to procedures was initially poor and improved following intervention (p=0.04). Conclusions: Although intervention produced a significant improvement in hand hygiene compliance (18% vs. 28%), the hospital policy of cleaning hands between patients is far from being practised.
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